Feb. 21, 2019 By Nathaly Pesantez
M. Wells Dinette will be leaving MoMA PS1 at the end of February after a seven-year run as the museum’s cafeteria-in-residence, with a new Mediterranean restaurant anticipated to open on site this spring.
The dinette, which opened at the 22-25 Jackson Ave. museum in 2012, announced the location’s fate in a recent “fond farewell” post on its website. The team noted the dinette will shutter when the current exhibition at the museum also comes down on Feb. 28.
“What a festive and adventurous run we’ve had,” the team wrote. “Every day was packed with memories and already we are heavily reminiscent of our wonderful seven-year venture inside the museum.”
The restaurant, according to the museum, offered a “characteristically playful and ever-changing” menu “with a gentle nod to both Queens and Québec.” Hugue Dufour, a Quebec native, ran the dinette with his wife, Sarah Obraitis.
“For the better part of this decade we have been like no other place on the planet,” the team’s message reads. “The experiences will never be forgotten.”
It is unclear why the culinary duo is departing MoMA PS1, though their popular M. Wells Steakhouse will continue to serve diners in Long Island City.
“We are grateful to M. Wells Dinette and its proprietors Hugue Dufour and Sarah Obraitis for serving as MoMA PS1’s cafeteria-in-residence for the past seven years,” MoMA PS1 said in a statement. “With the acclaimed M. Wells Steakhouse just a few blocks away, M. Wells continues to be a valued member of our Long Island City community.”
The dinette and steakhouse opened after the team’s short-lived diner, which saw much success in its one-year of operations at the corner of 21st Street and 49th Avenue, closed in 2011 due to rent problem with the landlord.
With the dinette’s departure comes a new restaurant at the same space M. Wells occupied within the museum.
The restaurant, to be called Mina’s, will offer “simple but creative Mediterranean-inspired cuisine” when it opens in April, the museum said in an announcement yesterday.
The eatery will be run by Mina Stone, an acclaimed chef and author, and Alex Eagleton, an artist. The menu draws on Stone’s Greek’s heritage and her 15 years of professional cooking experience in the art world. The menu will also be seasonal.
“Like any great art form, food has the power to transport you,” Stone said in a statement. “Mina’s will be a complement to the creative atmosphere of the museum, adapting traditional recipes to the modern palate with our signature style of cooking that is effortless, healthy, authentic, and approachable.”
The dining space will close on March 1 for renovations to usher in the new restaurant the following month.
“Cooking experience in the art world”
WTF does that even imply?
As I always say one closes and another opens.
Well, I always say/ask…wouldn’t it better if one stays open…and another opens, and another, and another?
Yes it would be better if one did not leave and another opened. Why don’t they stay open? Is their menu not supported by PATRONS?, ARE RENTS TOO high? What do you think?
It’s a combination of these things. Rents are certainly too high…and I will never understand why the owners would choose their property to sit idle vs lowering their asking price, but that is another debate altogether. And of course support of patrons depends on the quality and variety of the vendors. This is a sophisticated community. We will not tolerate a mediocre product simply presented as an ‘option’. If the establishment provides a quality product people will support it wholeheartedly.
As I always say, MRLIC is a moron.