The tips started pouring across the wire yesterday afternoon that the Eldridge, Matt Levine's two and half year old LES list lounge had finally sold, with a tipster saying the broker had just confirmed the sale. The place had been on the market for months, even though Levine repeated said that it wasn't really on the market but that he was always willing to entertain offers.
Levine responded to yesterday's rumors with alarm and denial, saying that a public listing "doesn't mean anything, it just means - I am not fielding offers anymore. It's odd that I am even on there." He told us that when he sold, he would let us know and that running yesterday's rumor would be damaging because "I don't want it affecting my current business, and up coming events booked there." That wasn't exactly true. This morning came the official word that he sold out for $500,000.
According to a Page Six, the new owner paid $500,000 in key money for the right to take over the lease, but Levine gets to keep the Eldridge brand and the owner must change the iconic bookstore facade, which together would have probably put the deal somewhere around $500,001. Levine tells the Post that "I didn't want to let it go, but am very happy with the terms and plan to open up a restaurant on the Lower East Side soon." Because a follow up to Levant East is exactly what the neighborhood has been demanding. The Eldridge will go out of business next week with a party Levine is throwing for his own branding company, which explains his concern that a story would be "affecting my business and booked/upcoming events."
· End of Eldridge [NYP]
· Eldridge Coverage [~ENY~]
· Nightlife Coverage [~ENY~]