Another one bites the hardshell tortilla dust. East Village favorite San Loco is set to close tonight. After 3 a.m., there will only be one location left in Manhattan, on the Lower East Side.
community board 3
Drunk NYU students are ruining the East Village. At least, that’s what a lot of residents and business owners said last night while discussing a zoning plan aimed at preserving the character of the neighborhood.
Another day, another watering hole that’s closing. This time it’s Jerome’s, the Lower East Side late-night staple just steps from the Williamsburg Bridge, which will be closing its doors for good tonight. Formerly known as St. Jerome’s, it was reincarnated into Rivington F&B in 2014, and was a favorite LES hangout for Lady Gaga.
After St. Jerome’s was revamped into Rivington F&B in March 2014 by Jonas Pelli, a former bartender and manager at St. Jerome’s, and his new partners in crime Omri S. Quire and Paul Seres of The DL, the bar expanded with a new backroom, a fresh cocktail list, and a food menu.
After the makeover, patrons who remembered and loved St. Jerome’s back from its down-and-dirty days were afraid the bar would become a bro-festered lounge, but for the most part Rivington F&B (still known as Jerome’s) managed to pay homage to its wilder roots. The laid-back vibes, a small dance floor in the back, and their rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic simply made the spot feel like a slightly posher version of the beaten-up dive bar it once was. The chalkboard doors in the front would sport homages to recently deceased music legends, including Bowie and Prince.
While the owners wouldn’t explain exactly why they had to close – S. Quire simply said “it’s out of our control” – Bowery Boogie reported back in June that the space had apparently been bought by new owners who plan to turn it into something called the LES Junction, although there’s little information about the spot as of yet. The new owners Gavin Downie and Lynn McNeill submitted a liquor license request to the Community Board 3 for 155 Rivington back in May.
Pelli and S. Quire had a big blowout on Saturday night with DJs Prince Terrence and Nate Turbow to celebrate their last weekend at Jerome’s, as well as an “insane” Monday night party, which became a collaboration of their popular “Magic Monday” and “Dollhouse” parties. “We’ve let our DJs and employees each do their own send-off this week,” S. Quire explained.
S. Quire wistfully said that in a way, it was fitting that they would have one last hurrah on a Wednesday. “We actually opened on a Wednesday with a party called Clubhouse Déjà Vu, which is a throwback to the old St. Jerome’s,” he said, explaining that the original Jerome’s used to be nicknamed “the clubhouse.”
Naturally, tonight’s party will carry that moniker, and feature DJs Marty E. and Ian Eldorado spinning tunes until 4am.
Nonetheless, it was clear that S. Quire and Pelli were sad to have to close down. “It’s hard to let go of anything to which you devote so much time and effort. We’ve got a lot of great memories, learned a lot and made many new friends and we hope that everyone else who’s been coming to the bar has gained as much as us,” S. Quire explained.
But S. Quire and Pelli are Lower East Siders till the bitter end, and have been hatching some new ideas for ventures around the neighborhood. “We need to find the real estate first,” Pelli said.
One thing’s for sure though: they’re not moving to Brooklyn. “Brooklyn is not us,” Pelli said decisively.
Jerome’s at Rivington F&B, 115 Rivington Street between Suffolk and Clinton Street. Tonight, 5pm – 4am.
If the Olympics put you in the mood for serving and spiking, here’s some good news: The Henry M. Jackson Playground is getting a volleyball area. It’s just one of many perks coming to two Lower East Side playgrounds as part of a city initiative to modernize ailing parks.
East Houston street is currently a hotbed of development, as any casual stroll down the street will reveal. Endless scaffolding, boarded-up properties, fences, and signs announcing new things to come line the sidewalks of lots previously occupied by local shops, community facilities, and residential buildings. Although a 2008 rezoning was implemented, ostensibly to preserve the existing buildings and the affordable housing that many of them contained, developers who bought up a sliver of land at 255 East Houston Street may get a special rezoning through of their own.
Most New Yorkers don’t like to be reminded that the current orange-hued Republican presidential nominee is technically one of us. Yes, it’s true. Say it with us: Donald J. Trump is a New Yorker. (Ugh– we know, we hate to admit it too). Considering that Trump’s name can be found all over the city, usually in huge gold letters, you’d think that our tiny-handed GOP candidate has something to prove. Whatever the motive, Trump’s habit of branding his structures with his own name serves as a constant, nauseating reminder of his inextricable ties to the city.
An opening for the Chinatown Working Group’s rezoning proposal may finally be on the horizon. Last night, Community Board 3’s chair, Gigi Li, presented a new development to the Land Use Committee– after two years of sending resolutions supporting the plan to the Department of City Planning, its director, Carl Weisbrod, responded on June 7th expressing willingness to engage in discussion. Still, some community groups remain frustrated that the rezoning process isn’t moving fast enough to keep up with the quickening pace of high-rise development, while board members warned that unity from various stakeholders would be key to achieve comprehensive changes.
Albert Trummer of Apothéke has finally opened his new bar on Avenue C, having dropped the rather hilarious working title of Mixers & Elixirs in favor of Sanatorium, a name that’s true to both the bar’s Habsburgian decor (surgeon’s lamps, anatomy-driven artwork, even an X-Ray lightbox) and its Dionysian philosophy on wellness.
Last night council members Margaret Chin and Rosie Mendez visited Community Board 3 to face the music and explain their votes on the mayor’s affordable housing and rezoning plan, which was approved by the City Council in March. The plan will allow developers to build higher in rezoned neighborhoods, but require them to include at least 25 percent affordable housing in all new buildings.
The city’s move to activate the abandoned trolley terminal under Delancey got off to a rocky start last month. The space has long been discussed as the ideal location for the Lowline‘s subterranean park and some felt the city was moving full steam ahead, without involving the community enough (an ongoing issue for the project).
LES lounge Fat Baby is in danger of losing its liquor license after Community Board 3’s SLA Committee recommended against its renewal last night.
The Lower East Side is one step closer to getting a new art-house movie theater. Locals hailing from all walks of life, from the director of the social services organization Henry Street Settlement to the director of Winter’s Bone, spoke up in support of the Metrograph at a Community Board 3 meeting last night. Fashion designer Alexander Olch and his partners shared new details about the two-theater cinema and restaurant, and persuaded CB 3’s SLA Committee to unanimously support an application for a liquor license.