Red Hook residents who used to party at Lillie’s bar on Beard Street may be surprised to discover that right next door to the decadent nightspot was an elegant restaurant waiting to be born. What was previously storage space has been thoroughly overhauled into a French bistro called La Bouillabaisse, which owner Neil Ganic (Petite Crevette) hopes to have running in time for the June 18th grand opening of IKEA, conveniently located across the street. (Ganic formerly operated an iteration of La Bouillabaisse on Atlantic Avenue.)

Lillie’s has now reopened as the renovated Annabelle's, named after Ganic's daughter. Co-owner Joseph Ficarra restored the bar to its original 1940s condition, refurbished the bathrooms, rehabilitated the tile floor, and lathered on some blue paint, perhaps to echo the Swedish big box across the street. La Bouillabaisse is connected to the refurbished barroom by an open doorway; the kitchen there will also provide a limited menu to the Annabelle's crowd. And in the back courtyard, a newly installed prep area will churn out oysters, po' boys, blue crab and pulled pork starting sometime this summer. La Bouillabaisse and Annabelle's, 44 Beard Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn. (718) 643-1500