Lindenhurst residents and husband-and-wife team Gabrielle and Jonathan Gonzalez want to bring some European charm back to the neighborhood.
But instead of Italian and French minimalist elegance, imagine black and white checkerboard floors, taxidermy animals, and a warm roasting fireplace — like a vintage hunting lodge.
That’s the vision for Hunter and Thief, the Gonzalez family’s planned cocktail bar for 21 West Hoffman Avenue — a 2,100-square-foot space that was previously occupied by a medical office.
It’s all about the area’s history, and its importance to the couple.
“Lindenhurst is a German town,” said Gabrielle, who met her husband through a Lindenhurst connection. “My family’s German, and I am trying to bring that back while keeping it young and modern.”
The two even named their firstborn child Wolfgang as a nod to their German heritage.
While the decor will have an Old English feel, the cocktail bar will be very contemporary — something you’d maybe find in Brooklyn rather than Long Island, say the owners.
There will be no waiters or waitresses and food will be secondary. We’re talking small plates and meat and cheese boards.
“This is a place you’ll come before or after you go to restaurants,” said Gabrielle. “The focus here is on what Jonathan is doing; everything else is supplementary.”
Jonathan, a three-time best cocktail winner at the NY Cocktail Expo, has been a mixologist for over 15 years. During his career, he’s been a beverage director/bar manager in places such as Blackbird Kitchen & Cocktails in Wantagh and South Shore Dive in Sayville.
Now he’s coupling his experiences with his own creative influences.
Even the process of him making the drinks is going to be a show.
“It’s going to be unlike anything anyone has ever done before,” said Jonathan.
He’s all about attention to detail.
“He hand-cuts his own ice, cube by cube,” said Gabrielle. “He hand-makes makes every syrup, garnish — no sour mixes or prefab lime juice will be used.”
Hospitality and quality is everything, the couple tells GreaterBabylon.
“We’re going to know your favorite drinks,” the two said. “We’re going to have a VIP cabinet [with] bottles already made for our regulars.”
The goal of the establishment is to cater to people near the same age as the Gonzalezes, who are both in their early 30s.
“Everything is a little bit too old or it’s a little dive bar $5 beers,” said Gabrielle. “We want this to be a cozy, homey place where we’d like to hang out.”
Hunter and Theif will seat around 60 people with an 18-seat bar. The cocktail bar will be closed on Sundays, so everyone can be home with their families, they say.
“We’re all about and legacy and being able to do something for our children,” said Gabrielle.
To make this dream come to life, the couple partnered with a friend and developer from NYC named Brad Richards, whom they met when Jonathan worked at Blackbirds a year ago.
“He appreciates what Jon does and supports him and the opportunity came along and he jumped at it,” said Gabrielle. “He understood the need we’re trying to fill in the island.”
Together, the group plans to begin construction this month, and are aiming to open this spring.
“The desire to do something for myself has always been there, it’s just been the matter of circumstance and opportunity,” said Jonathan.
“We’re really excited to open,” said Gabrielle. “Everyone in the town has been so supportive of us so far.”
Check back at GreaterBabylon for updates.
Follow Hunter and Theif on Instagram to learn more.
Top: Husband-and-wife team Gabrielle Gonzalez and Jonathan Gonzalez, the minds behind Hunter and Theif.