Sept. 14, 2016 By Hannah Wulkan
The M. Wells Steakhouse is expanding to appeal to new tastes—in literature.
The owners of M. Wells, an upscale steakhouse in Long Island City, are launching the “Book Cart on Crescent” in the vacant lot next door to the restaurant at 43-29 Crescent Street. It will allow people to donate and borrow books for free, and to relax outside with a good book.
“Long Island City is a social kind of place. People genuinely enjoy crossing paths with friends and neighbors while getting to know new ones,” said M. Wells co-owner Sarah Oberaitis.
“The Lot where the Book Cart is parked will have a relaxed atmosphere with already a nice vibe thanks to the folks who come to play petanque and now folks can come for a quiet read or with family to grab a stack or check out the games, play chess, eat lunch.”
The idea for the book cart came about because the steakhouse owners have several bookshelves at the restaurant and began to accumulate quite a few books, and wanted to offer a way for the community to enjoy them, said Oberaitis.
The book cart itself will be built during the first week of October with donated supplies in a community effort, involving staff, their family, and local community members. The lot will be open to the public soon after, opening at noon on Wednesday through Sunday, and will stay open in to the evening.
The lot itself is owned by Rockrose Properties, and has been used for various community events in the past. The company is allowing M. Wells to use the lot for the rest of the year for the community effort.
Community members are welcome to stop by and borrow and donate as many books as they please, Oberaitis said, and any extra books accumulated will be donated to the Queens Library.
In addition to providing books to the community, “M. Wells might be grilling next door every once in a while,” she said.
Oberaitis said that she also hopes to host other book-related events at the bookcart, and is talking to Friends of Court Square Library to host a festival and bring more book-related activities to the lot through the rest of 2016.
Wells Steakhouse is accepting book drop offs on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday after 2pm and is also picking up books and games around town. To stay up to date on the Book Cart on Crescent progress, visit MagasinWells.com/bookcart.