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New York Classic La Lunchonette Is Crumbling Beneath the High Line in Chelsea

The High Line's pretty vistas are killing a Chelsea staple.

La Lunchonette's no frills space in Chelsea.
La Lunchonette's no frills space in Chelsea.

Longtime Chelsea staple La Luncheonette is facing the army of gentrification and losing. The restaurant has been in its current home at 10th Avenue and 18th Street since 1988, but co-owner Melva Max says she will have to pack up her pans and go next summer, according to Jeremiah's Vanishing New York. The culprit? The High Line. Max tells Jeremiah Moss:

The neighborhood is so gross now....It's all tourists coming for the High Line. People always say, ‘But wasn't it great for you?' The High Line has been the cause of my demise....It feels like Disneyland around here now. Everyone's fighting the crowd to get to the next ride. People on the High Line look like lemmings, like they're walking on a treadmill.

Her landlord has given her until June 2015 to get out. "My landlord's not a bad guy, but how you can you say no to offers of $30 million?" The shutter wasn't inevitable says Max, "It could have been a nice park. The zoning could've stayed so it didn't attract all this grotesque development. It could have been done in a more creative way. And I'd still have my business."