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El Libre is now open in Uptown

Cuban food and rum drinks at a relocated cafe



Cocktail and cubano hub El Libre (3151 Calhoun St.) now is open in the spot formerly occupied by a Bud's Broiler for 40 years.

  Owner Blake Lindberg originally opened El Libre in the French Quarter in 2015 at 508 Dumaine St. He closed the restaurant last year to move Uptown. The Dumaine Street space now is occupied by a different Cuban cocktail bar, Manolito, opened by bartenders Chris Hannah and Nick Detrich.

  The Uptown El Libre serves Cuban standbys and rum-based cocktails. Menu items include 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 has 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. Burgers are offered with add-ons such as cheddar cheese, avocado and ropa vieja, among others.

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

  El Libre is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Monday through May. Beginning in June, El Libre will be open daily.

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