Réunion or Ile de la Réunion is a small volcanic island off the coast of Africa/Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.
It is a premier surfing spot, with many competitions, rock-reef breaks with super-fast waves, one of the best lefts in the world. The food is an amazing mix of the population's influences. They drink a national beer called Bourbon, but everyone calls it "Dodo" because of the extinct bird on the label. They also drink tons of rum which they infuse with island fruits and herbs, generically called “Rhum Arrange” or “Punch.”
In this beautiful space in Hell's Kitchen, a sexy restaurant, big on bar space, call it a French Surfer Bar...
Eugene is a native New Yorker, who spent his summers bodysurfing the beaches of the Caribbean, Mexico, Spain, and locally at Fire Island and East Hampton, where he would take Summer jobs at local beach bars.
Eugene is also a filmmaker and a former Sony Music recording artist who has three Billboard Top 40 charted singles, a gold and platinum record to his credit, and believes that music is one of the most important elements of a bar’s ambiance.
Réunion’s playlist is a compilation of classic surf tunes from artists like Dick Dale, as well as Classic rock, Soul, and world music, from artists like the Rolling Stones, Otis Redding, and Nino Ferrer. But, it's also not out of question that you'll hear TLC or Tribe Called Quest pumping through the speakers.
Thomas Wilson loves to surf. Nicaragua's warm Pacific. His home break on Martha's Vineyard. Tunisia to the Outer Banks to Florida. Malibu to Montauk.
He has also owned, managed, and run the kitchens of some of Manhattan's most unique and successful restaurants and bars.
In his spare time he has been employed variously as a hay-throwing (and shit-shoveling) Farmhand, Lumberjack (both in the hills of Western Massachusetts) Ship's Carpenter, Sailboat Rigger, High-Tension Wire Rigger (High-wire artist Phillipe Petit's wires across St. John the Divine Cathedral, Grand Central Station, and the as yet unwalked 1/2 mile-high wire across the Little Colorado River Gorge in Arizona), and Drug Smuggler (donated tuberculosis medicine for a village in Northern Nicaragua during the Sandanista/Contra conflict and he's no fan of Oliver North's).