News that Keith McNally’s Lower East Side trendsetter Schiller’s will be closing in August has already struck a chord with diners — and the kind of commentary popping up shows just what kind of restaurant it was.
The 131 Rivington Street spot was one of the first places to turn the LES into a dining and nightlife destination when it opened in 2003, or as this Tweeter put it, “the first to ‘ruin’ the LES.” It’s closing in August after the McNallys decided they couldn’t afford the higher rent that the landlord asked.
It ultimately took a hold on the neighborhood, filling a wide-ranging role for people. It was for students, parents, business meetings, first dates, meeting your future husband, friends, family, trendy beautiful people, parties, and pre-holiday boozing. Many people’s reactions reflect that aspect of the restaurant, and their appreciation for it:
Awful news. Schiller's is one of the most reliable good times in NYC. Great for parents or dates or whatever. In SNL intro, as well. https://t.co/ufgTkmKpW1— P-Man (@Manzerd) May 16, 2017
Jonah on Facebook: “My fiancé, Rob, and I met at Schiller's Liquor Bar in Oct '10 and we're getting married this September. It'll always hold a special place in our hearts. Truly sad to see this place close.”
Ali on Facebook: “This was a frequent go-to of mine when I was in law school. Sadness. At one point it was my favorite burger in the city but lost its mojo a few years ago. Let’s go before it closes.”
Drew on Facebook: “One cold winter night I was there with my son — it's a neat room, and although I don't remember a thing about the food, that could be because we were sitting across from two stunning women, who were utterly in love with each other. So beautiful that I haven't forgotten a decade later. Speaks well for the place. I hope he's bringing back Pastis at least”
The responses also show that Schiller’s was one of the more polarizing restaurants in the McNally empire. Not everyone loved it — citing everything from the food and the service to the crowd. Pete Wells once even demolished the restaurant’s food in series of tweets.
With news of its closures, some people weren’t afraid to voice that they weren’t Schiller’s fans:
“Good cocktails but the crowd there was full of douchebags,” Regina says. “This place was the beginning of the end for the old Lowest East Side. Douche central,” Jason writes. “That place was so fucking overrated,” Mike says. “We ended up there by accident,” writes Molly. “We were meeting a friend next door and went here instead. Terrible service. It took 15 minutes to get a glass of wine. We were one of 2 tables and it looked like 5 people were working.”