Call it the M. Wells (and Dutch Kills) effect, but Long Island City isn't seen as quite the gastronomic backwater it was a few years ago. Case in point: In early May (or whenever the last few inspections go through), Jeff Blath, a former GM of Jane, and Lisa Kalik, a doctor, will open modern American restaurant Alobar in the site of a former Irish pub. "I’ve always felt like the best place for a new restaurateur to get started is in a growing neighborhood," says Blath, who's lived in LIC for the past four years and wants to help diversify the restaurant scene. Blath is big on charcuterie, so expect lots of local options and some meats cured in house. Brunch will be a focus, and Blath hopes to offer "the best beer list in the neighborhood." As you can see in this photo, the 100-seat space (with 20 outdoor seats in back) is nearly done. There are also stained-glass windows, rough-hewn wood tables, and kicky ochre-colored banquettes. Watch this space for more photos as the project gets closer to opening.
Alobar, 46-42 Vernon Blvd., nr. 47th Ave., Long Island City