South Redondo’s new gastropub steps up the cool factor for Riviera Village
Written by Joclene Davey | Photography Courtesy of Sean Moynihan
Redondo Beach’s swanky new hot spot, Rebel Republic Social House, is most certainly a rebel—with a cause. Aimed at drawing a lively crowd, this South Bay gastropub is changing the landscape of Riviera Village. Between its alfresco-inspired concept and parklette that provides additional patio space along the street side, the eclectic eatery is quickly becoming a place to see and be seen.
“The design was to have open-air dining, and a large sliding glass window acting as a social meeting point for guest[s] to interact with friends and new acquaintances,” shares Co-owner Nael Taki. “Also, being Redondo’s first ever parklette program, we have extra patio seating with full-service spirits and food available outside.” As part of the Hennessy family of local eateries, Rebel Republic is the latest notch in Paul Hennessy’s belt, although the hospitality group is a new venture between Hennessey, Nael Taki, Ralph Russomano, director of operations for Hennessey’s Tavern, and Andrew Northam, regional manager for Las Vegas Hennessey’s Tavern.
The dynamic social aspect is evident in the continuously packed bar, surrounded by vibrant art and lively music. “We wanted to open a place [where] everyone feels welcome, from [those in] business attire to board shorts. We also offer 30 outlets for getting out [of] the office early for happy hour to finish work on your laptops or just charging your phone to stay connected to the world,” continues Taki. Drive by at any time of the day and one will see a mash-up crowd delighting over mixology cocktails and stick-to-your-ribs comfort food.
Libations cater to the whiskey lover with 100-plus different brands, including bourbon, scotch and rye.
The enticing list features domestic and imported brands from countries all over the world, like Canada, Japan and Ireland. Meanwhile, the bar also serves a lineup of local craft beers on rotation and even a selection of wines on draft. A hit list of signature cocktails are here for the taking, with a few crowd favorites in particular: the Chamomile Old Fashioned with house-infused Chamomile Rye, honey and Falernum Bitters and the Northam Bramble made with Martin Millers Gin, jalapeño and blackberries.
“The concept was to create a whiskey bar with hearty comfort food, unlike anything here in the Village; we wanted to bring in something fresh. We also added a spin on comfort food with flavors Nael, Ralph and I like experimenting with that have influences of Japanese, American, and Mexican flavors, then stacking flavors on top of each other,” explains head chef Elliot Bender. A few of the culinary staples are their famous Rebel Burger with two 4 oz. patties, American cheese, caramelized onions and aioli, all on a brioche bun; and the Fried Devil Eggs with whipped egg yolk, Applewood bacon, chili threads and green onion. One can’t live without tasting the Fries and Mornay, which are delicious house fries topped with mornay sauce, Applewood bacon, fried egg, fresh black pepper and green onion.
While the menu is tight, it’s thoughtfully curated with dishes easy to handle for sharing purposes. Their passion for food and creating a welcoming atmosphere is clear upon meeting Taki and Bender— it’s also evident from the crowds Rebel Republic draws.
Whether you’re heading out with a group of friends or strolling in from the beach, the crew is enthusiastic about their guests having a great experience. Bender puts it best: “We are very family oriented, we all want to have a good time, we want people to have fun, the guest, the employees; just come in, relax and feel at home.” And one certainly does.
REBEL REPUBLIC SOCIAL HOUSE
1710 S. Catalina Avenue, Redondo Beach | 424.352.2600