Yesterday, news broke that Ludlow Street fixture The Pink Pony had called it quits. Now the Times talks with restaurateur Lucien Bahaj about the shuttering of the cafe. Bahaj, who is a 68-year-old diabetic, explains: "The main reason for all of this is not the health, and not the business going down; it's that the neighborhood has changed...It's the ability to carry on when the original clientele has moved elsewhere."
Apparently, the new landlord spiked the rent from $14,000 to $20,000, but that is not unusual for the neighborhood these days. At one point two years ago, it looked like The Pink Pony was going to close, but Bahaj struck a deal to sublease the space from next-door neighbor Max Fish. The restaurateur tells the Times, "I resisted because of pride and because of connection to the community." Bahaj still operates Lucien in the East Village.
In other sad Ludlow Street news, the owner of Motor City Bar confirms that the 19-year-old watering hole will close sometime soon. The lease is up at the end of the month, and the landlord did not give the team the option to renew.
· Another '90s Fixture of Lower East Side Is Gone [City Room/NYT]
· Motor City Co-Owner Confirms Closing [TLD]
Ludlow Street Fixture The Pink Pony Calls it Quits [~ENY~]