PORT MORRIS — Rum-infused chicken wings, mac and cheese balls and 20 different draft beers are all on the menu at a new restaurant in an industrial section of the South Bronx.
The Gun Hill Tavern, located right next to the Port Morris Distillery at 780 E. 133rd St., had its first official day of business on Saturday and is now open seven days a week from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays and from 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. on weekends.
The restaurant is a partnership between the Port Morris Distillery and the Gun Hill Brewing Co. and, although there are still just six dishes on the menu, executive chef Christian Miranda said he plans to add several more items going forward, including blue cheese waffles with fried buttermilk chicken and chorizo with creamy mushroom polenta served over fried egg.
"I'm doing a new American fusion," he said of the menu. "It's a little bit of Latin, we're going to have a little bit of Asian, stuff like that."
The restaurant currently has 20 beers on tap, 10 of which are from the Gun Hill Brewing Co. including its "Hamilton"-themed Rise Up Rye.
Although the tavern is located in a fairly industrial and isolated section of the South Bronx, Miranda said he is not concerned that it will be difficult to attract visitors, maintaining that the restaurant will have a virtual monopoly during the week on serving workers in the area who are looking for a nearby spot to eat and drink.
Two such workers stopped by the tavern on Monday afternoon and said they were grateful to finally have a place in the neighborhood where they could spend their lunch break.
"It's awesome," said Justin Phoomahal, who works at Benfield Electric. "We have somewhere to go eat lunch. Lunchtime is boring in this area."
He anticipated that he and his coworker Pedro Roque, who joined him for lunch, would soon become regulars at the tavern.
Miranda said he envisions the Gun Hill Tavern as a high end gastropub with an elaborate menu that would not seem out of place in Midtown or on the Upper East Side, and he hopes the eatery will help the South Bronx shed what remains of its rather negative reputation.
"Things that you would eat at a fine dining bistro, you can have it here," Miranda said, "with the awesome beer that we have in house."