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Gastropub Publicans closes in Manhasset

Publicans' new owners kept the pub's 50-plus-year-old bartop,

Publicans' new owners kept the pub's 50-plus-year-old bartop, but added modern details such as subway tile and wood-and-pipe shelving. Credit: Linda Rosier

A handwritten sign went up in the window of Publicans in Manhasset in mid-September. "Closed for light renovation," it read. "Stay tuned for exciting news / opening in < 1 month. See you soon." 

A month has passed, though, and Publicans has not reopened. The ownership — who could possibly be former owners, if rumors are true — have not responded to messages.

The classic Plandome Road bar was immortalized in J.R. Moehringer's 2005 memoir “The Tender Bar," and in 2017 had been remade into a polished gastropub of reclaimed wood, exposed brick and 23 taps, plus a new American menu. The renovation had been led by Imian Partners, a Connecticut-based real estate and hospitality company; one of Imian's partners, John Heil, lived locally, and Manhasset resident Sean Peters was also partner. The original executive chef, Richard Schoenacher, left Publicans a few months after it reopened.

Casting even further back, a bar called Dickens opened here in 1948 and was succeeded by Publicans in 1977. From 1999 until 2016, the space operated as Edison’s. Signs are promising that culinary signs of life may be imminent at 550 Plandome Rd. Publicans' liquor license is still valid, and a few days ago, an ad posted to Craigslist for "kitchen opportunities" inside a "historic kitchen & taphouse … currently seeking head chef, sous chef & line cooks for grand reopening."


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