Leah Allen is not from a town in Texas. She doesn't speak Hebrew either but her new bar, Abilene, is a paean to both. The word, in Hebrew, means grass, and on there are waves of the same on walls, under beautifully understated lighting. A native New Yorker and Carroll Gardens resident, Abilene is her first bar in Brooklyn but she's no novice- she opened Lolita in 1999. We had a drink with Leah and her husband who renovated the space, formerly the Red Room, together. Unlike Lolita, this place is never going to hold a reading series- this one is all about how comfortable people can be with board games and no one that is ever going to shush you, ever. Tuesday the bar hosted an Anti-Valentine's Day party and may bring in djs; the space is similar to the old Halcyon and we could see it working.
Also working are those chandeliers above the extra-long (27 feet) bar. Leah was inspired by her brother David Allen, artist and owner of the eponymous Smith Street gallery, and created the chandeliers from only Y-connectors and tiny lightsfrom the hardware store. They are better than anything at Moss. The effect is mesmerizing, like coral, or as if the light is actually growing out of the ceiling.
442 Court Street at Third Pl.