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Thursday, May 3, 2018

El Libre opens Friday in Uptown

Posted By on Thu, May 3, 2018 at 6:26 PM

click to enlarge Cuban restaurant and bar El Libre opens Friday at 3151 Calhoun Street. - COURTESY EL LIBRE/FACEBOOK
  • Cuban restaurant and bar El Libre opens Friday at 3151 Calhoun Street.

Cocktail and cubano hub El Libre begins regular business Friday.

Following a soft opening period, the new spot opens at 11 a.m. Friday, May 4. The Cuban bar and restaurant from owner Blake Lindberg is at 3151 Calhoun St., the former home of Bud’s Broiler, which closed late last year after a nearly 40-year run.

Lindberg opened the original El Libre in the French Quarter in 2015. The petite restaurant at 508 Dumaine St. closed last year, and that space is now occupied by a different Cuban cocktail bar, Manolito.

At the new Uptown location, El Libre has a similar menu of Cuban standbys and rum-based cocktails. Menu items include pollo de libre, a dish of slow-cooked chicken in a mojo marinade served with rice, black beans, corn and avocado. Waffle fries are topped with ropa vieja , and there also is a po-boy featuring the classic shredded beef dish. A vegetarian bowl features rice, beans, avocado and corn. The classic cubano sandwich is made with mojo-marinated roasted pork shoulder, pickles, mustard and Swiss cheese pressed on Cuban-style bread. There will are burgers with a selection of add-ons including cheddar cheese, avocado and ropa vieja, among others.

click to enlarge The ropa debris po-boy at El Libre
  • The ropa debris po-boy at El Libre

Cocktails include classic Cuban quaffs like mojitos, Cuba libres and daiquiris.

In May, its hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Monday. Beginning in June, El Libre will be open daily.

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