June 17, 2014 By Christian Murray
The train is about to pull into the station.
Station LIC, a restaurant to be located at 10-37 Jackson Avenue, will be opening in about four weeks, according to co-owner Gregory Okshteyn.
Okshteyn, a Long Island City resident who designs restaurants for a living, said he is putting the finishing touches on the bar/restaurant, a project that has involved converting a vacant building above the Vernon Blvd/Jackson Ave subway station into a train-themed bar/restaurant.
“The kitchens installed, we have our liquor license and all of our approvals,” Okshteyn said. “It’s now about putting the icing on the cake.”
The restaurant is located inside a triangular-shaped building, which looks like a station house, that has been empty for more than a decade. Okshteyn has already placed a railroad light on the exterior of the building—indicating where the door is—and is in the midst of putting old lanterns and signs throughout the dining area.
Okskteyn said that the bar/restaurant will cater to between 70-75 people. About 55 restaurant goers will be seated upstairs, with 15-20 people downstairs in the cellar.
The cellar space will be available for private events or spill over from the dining room upstairs. The downstairs will contain plastic images of train wrecks.
The restaurant will be open from 5pm through 2 am seven days per week. It will offer brunch on Saturdays and Sundays about a month after opening from 12 through 4 pm.
Okshteyn said he hopes the unique train station theme will draw people from other neighborhoods–as well as Manhattan residents.
“We have the Jackson Ave station right below us and you can literally hear the subway in our cellar…and we are one stop away from Grand Central station,” Okshteyn said earlier this year.
“The train station theme is so much fun because it is a rich genre for decorative inspiration and it is also known for transporting people,” Okshteyn said. “When you go out, you want to feel like you are transported somewhere and taken away for a few hours.”
Business partner Christoper Ferrante, who graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and ran Bar 89 in Manhattan, has designed the menu, food and bar program.
The menu, Ferrante said, will feature small dishes such as broccoli Parmesan fritters; mini-pressed sandwiches; jalapeno peppers wrapped in bacon; spice-rubbed roast chicken; roasted vegetables in French herbs; and burgers.
Ferrante said that there will be an extensive cocktail list and beer will be sold by the bottle.
While empty for the past decade, the location has a rich history. It was the home of a successful saloon called Blessinger’s and was also featured in the 1980’s Tom Cruise film ‘Cocktail.’
I did more partying in LIC when there were only 2 bars: PJ Leahy’s (formerly Ryan’s) and McReilly’s. I danced on the bar, sand along to the juke box and my friends and I acted embarassingly stupid.
The changes to the neighborhood have made it mild and tame compared to LIC inthe 90’s and early 2000s. The LIC where people snuck on to parts of the waterfront where they weren’t allowed, smoked weed, and did all sorts of nonsense. Be grateful for the new restaurants. Welcome backyard dining and rooftop bars. Keep that sort of vibe here before we end up with 20 REAL bars packed with 30 year old frat boys vomiting in the street.
Thanks for sharing great memories Old Lic.
I’m really pleased to see someone fix up that property, and I wish the owners all the best. The place looks great.
And the fact that this nice-looking bar is about to open in the old Blessinger’s space brings back many fond memories for me. Blessinger’s was one of those places that have essentially disappeared in New York. It was a place that attracted families, workers, and bar flies alike. The jukebox in that bar has probably given me the best lessons in early rock and roll. I remember grabbing quarters from my dad and pumping them in that machine to play “Lucille” by Little Richard five times in a row.
The food coming out of that kitchen was homey and really good. The room was nice and dark like nay good taver was, and the AC was welcoming on hot summer says.
People should remember that were content with what we had back in those day with much less than people have now. That’s the thing I miss about LIC sometimes. There wasn’t this constant aggression and annoyance and dissatisfaction I hear so much today from people. Everyone seems to be sour and spoiling for a fight. Why is that? Blessinger’s and our neighborhood wasn’t fancy, but it was special, and many wonderful families lived here and were OK. If we can just have more of that atmosphere back again, that would be great.
Sounds great and welcome. Good luck to them. This was the bar in that bad movie “Cocktail'”s final scene. Look for the late, lamented smokestacks.
Anonymous’s “veiled non bacon wrapped” comments are a sad reflection of the refugees from Williamsburg. Please go back there.
I wonder what city Aj is talking about. I’m confused
What they’ve done to the outside of the place looks great, hope they do well! Dies anybody what is going on two doors up from there? And what’s the deal with the Peruvian restaurant? The work seems to have stopped…
I’m someone who is concerned about the potential concentrated noise of multiple restaurants and bars echoing in the back yards. I also side with giving more weight to residents surrounding a backyard space – whichever way that goes. BUT I have to say Anonymous does NOT speak for me nor the majority of folks with my leanings. There is just no reason to make this a bitter neighborhood dispute.
People trying stuff is awesome. Good luck.
SC, you tell ’em.
There used to be a factory next door, right outside my bedroom window. Every few days they’d get a truckload of empty 55 gallon drums. They liked to deliver them first thing in the morning and roll them across the yard, one at a time. God help me if I stayed out a little late the night before.
No restaurant will ever match that kind of racket.
So yea…Mr. Anonymous?
I don’t know any bar or restaurant owners and feel no need nor desire to “protect” them.. I’m sure they are more than capable of doing that themselves.
But your comments come off as ignorant and bitter.
You live in a business district. A business district in the biggest, busiest city in the US. A certain, respectable level of noise should be an expectation. If you don’t like that, someone in an earlier post made a wonderful suggestion of moving to the quieter, more peaceful suburbs.
I imagine you happened to move into the area during an era of deindustrialization. How lucky for you to move in just as things were moving out! Hunters Point used to be quite a busy place. I imagine the factories and warehouses, along with their trucks and deliveries and all hours of the day must have been quite noisy!
Alas… nobody is asking to a return to those days, thankfully. Simply a reasonable use of outdoor space.
If you want peace and quite don’t live 1 mile from the greatest city in the world and move the F out of the neighborhood…oh and by they way…you either love bacon or your wrong….
Excited to have more selections in LIC.. welcome!
Agree Sonny.. People that talk like that *ignore*
So… I don’t have a response. Not sure how that speaks for itself, or how bacon wrapped items are a representation of my non-bacon wrapped existence. You know the restaurant people I’m guessing and feel a responsibility to protect them. I’m offering veiled criticism of what seems to be very standard faire in a world where something more extraordinary is required to survive.
I Love Bacon Wrapped Jalapeños. Understated food with a cool vibe is all anyone could ask for. If you can’t put your name behind negative comments or you have nothing nice to say for no reason you should just be quiet. I have seen the location & the menu. It looks Awesome! Personally I can’t wait for Station LIC to open. Excited!!!
Your comments speak for themselves and are a perfect representation of you.
Sigh… things wrapped in bacon, as if that’s a new exciting thing.
Nice, would love to see how the place is done. Maybe a few IRT trinkets given it’s the IRT Flushing line. 😉
For all you people constantly complaining about not having enough outdoor spaces to eat and drink, I have a perfect solution: Go the hell back to the suburbs. There are plenty of backyards in Long Island, Jersey or Ohio beckoning you. We won’t miss you!
Awesome idea and venue. Good job Gregory!
Open a roof top bar!!!!