Nov. 11, 2014 By Christian Murray
The railroad-themed bar/restaurant that is coming to Hunters Point is on track to open next week.
Station LIC, located at 10-37 Jackson Avenue, will be opening on Monday, Nov. 17, according to its owners.
Gregory Okshteyn, a co-owner who had originally planned to open the bar/restaurant in spring, said he had to push back the date several times since he had to overcome several obstacles — such as obtaining a certificate of occupancy to getting the gas turned on.
But the main delay, he said, has been his desire for perfection. “We want to show it off in its grandeur,” Okshteyn said. “We are patient and we want to do it right.”
A few extra months is not much of a delay in the scheme of things. Okshteyn signed the lease 2 ½ years ago and has spent plenty of time on design and construction since.
Okshteyn, who designs bar/restaurants for a living, set his sights on converting the triangular shaped building into a station house from the get-go. The establishment sits directly above the Vernon/Jackson subway station.
Okshteyn, who has lived on Center Blvd for the past three years, was able to nab the location by happenstance. He was walking past the site with Rabbi Zev Wineberg, who is in charge of the JCC-Chabad LIC, and suggested to him that it would make for a great place for a bar/restaurant. Rabbi Wineberg just happened to be investigating the location in his quest to find space for a synagogue. He handed Okshteyn a copy of the lease.
The building had been empty for the 20 years—although it had been used for the movie ‘Cocktail’ starring Tom Cruise.
The location is best known among long-time residents as the home of Blessinger’s, a local watering hole that was there for 50 years (1930s through the 1980s). Okshteyn, who wanted to know about the history of the location, was able to find a Blessinger via Facebook who was able to provide him with some background information.
Construction began on the bar/restaurant in January.
Okshteyn said that during the demolition phase the first thing he got rid of was the sheet-rock. In doing so, he uncovered the wooden beams, exposed brick walls and iron columns that are now features of the establishment.
The bar/restaurant has two levels. The upstairs has capacity for 55 people—including the bar area—and the downstairs has room for 16. In the downstairs hallway, Okshteyn has photos of famous train wrecks that took place in Europe and North America in the past century.
The building’s exterior currently features a red light denoting the point of entry to the station. However, Okshteyn has plans to permit artists to paint murals on the outside walls—perhaps on a quarterly basis. He wants to create a place where artists, filmmakers and photographers all feel welcome.
The bar/restaurant is likely to offer American bistro-style food such as broccoli Parmesan fritters, fried green olives stuffed with gorgonzola, jalapeno peppers wrapped in bacon along with sandwiches and salads.
Larger plates will consist of spice rub roast chicken, fried eggplant Parmesan with smoked mozzarella and its own house burger called the Station Burger that will feature grass-fed beef, maple glazed bacon and pepper jack cheese.
However, Okshteyn is looking to offer what will be known as the Ponzi burger. He said the concept is that you get your burger for free under the condition that you buy the next persons.
The idea is that you will meet the person who bought you your burger and you will also meet the person who you bought the burger for.
“I want people to get to know their neighbors,” Okshteyn said. “I even put the tables close together for this reason.”
The venue will be open at 5pm during the week and noon on weekends. The establishment is permitted to open until 2 am.
Thank you all for the overwhelming positivity!! It really means so much to our entire team to have your support!!
We look forward to many a fun nights together!!
Did anyone notice that (Tom Cruise) was the one that gave a negative review? In the movie cocktail staring tom cruise this was the location of Pat’s Place’, Flanagan’s uncle’s bar.
Great location, amazing food and a wonderful bartender; however, the owner was so rude to us (Mind you, we spent over $300 on food and drinks on their opening night) that I will probably never go back.
Why online reviews are so difficult to trust/manage/etc
Your definition of “rude” could be the owner’s definition of “crazy freaking busy cause it’s opening night and I am trying to make everything as perfect as I can so I don’t have as much time as I would like to dote on every single customer”
Also – guessing this isn’t the first new bar/restaurant any of you have been to – let’s give these guys the 1-2 weeks to get their sh*t together like all restaurants need and then we can define our meaning of the word rude and reevaluate. It’s also really sad that everything else seemed to be great, wonderful, amazing, but this rudeness was enough to keep you away forever.
And for the record – haven’t been yet, don’t know the owner, don’t eat burgers and trying to keep positive til it’s fair and/or warranted to start complaining.
god knows there was just no where to get a burger on vernon
Happy to see our community thriving and that so many residents are engaged, look forward to seeing some of you at Station LIC. Good luck to the owners!
Your right. Stop the bullshit with the interior and foo foo and talk about food and beverage. The type of decor doesn’t make your place the best in the area, it’s the experience of your front of house and obviously the Chef.
People with no experience in the business get involved in decor and think they know everything than the place closes in less than a year.
Big Earl, or Tom, or whoever you are,
Didn’t I tell you what you needed to do? Hurry, get to that bathroom mirror!
Next time you want to share opinions about the food and service of a restaurant that hasn’t even opened yet (!), practice a little self discipline.
And have a nice day!
No Street art. Let’s keep it clean. NY has enough going on to look at. Some nice clean spaces are pleasant and clean up the neighborhood
Ponzi burger is genius. Best of luck!
Please don’t allow murals. Pick a sophisticated exterior and don’t subject us to amateur street art!
No no no…ALLOW MORE STREET ART!!!
ok how long is the buy your new friend a burger going to last???? This is the stupidest thing I’ve heard ever.
Any place that spends extra time on design and not hiring and paying the xtra $ to a thriving young Chef is going to fail.
Congratulations for showing true 2014 LIC spirit. The place hasn’t even served a single plate and you’re wishing them failure!
Go to the bathroom right now, look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, “My god, what the hell is wrong with me?” Let us know when you get an answer.
Have a nice day!
Shame it won’t be open for weekday lunches.
We will open for weekend brunches shortly. Thank you for your patience!!
Not outdoor space??? I’m not going
The place looks great and looking forward to good times and good food.
so exciting ~ felicitations !!
The place looks fantastic and I like the sound of the menu. I wish the owners good luck. Here’s to the “son of Blessinger’s”
Finally! I can see into the place from my apartment…been waiting forever to check it out. Good luck guys!