The NYPD's Lower East Side nightlife crackdown has claimed Mason Dixon as its first corpse. The barbecue and fake bull riding restaurant and bar had been closed by the NYPD for various offenses related to underage drinking and excessive noise and had struggled to reopen. It appears that the place is gone for good, as former manager Mike Ireland tells the Village Voice that Mason Dixon "had to close down for good because we were losing so much money on extra security, tickets, lost revenue, fines, court fees, lawyers", and that even though they "met every single stipulation they asked for, we did everything right, [the NYPD] kept ticketing us." Owner Rob Shamliam clarifies that statement a bit, saying that while the treatment from the NYPD was definitely a factor, he closed it "because it's being sold and I didn't want to jeopardize the license."
It seems that the Mason Dixon team has had enough of the neighborhood, as Ireland tells the Voice that he is going to open a bar in Bushwick and Shamliam, who also owns several other places in the neighborhood, recently opened Spritzenhaus in Greenpoint. So what will happen in the old Mason Dixon space? It just so happens that it is on the docket for tonight's Community Board 3 licensing committee, and none other than Matt Levine had previously tried and failed to win the Board's support for his New American restaurant concept with strong culinary influences from the Lower East Side's blend of culture. Will he be showing up again with a revised plan? Will the Board really think that any Levine plan is better than Mason Dixon? Stay tuned to Eater tomorrow morning for the exciting details.
· Mason Dixon Coverage [~ENY~]
· Nightlife Coverage [~ENY~]