Shortly after Max Fish departed 178 Ludlow St. last summer, the owners of Sweet Chick, a Williamsburg restaurant specializing in chicken and waffles, signed a lease for the space. They began the process of seeking a liquor license, with plans to open their second location at the former home of the legendary bar–only to face rejection in December.
An online petition has popped up to save Max Fish, the legendary Ludlow Street bar shut down by the NYPD Friday night for alleged underage drinking violations. The petition reads:
Max Fish opened on Ludlow Street in 1989. We have nurtured and supported the Lower East Side arts community for over 20 years–a community that is increasingly threatened by a variety of outside sources including landlords, real-estate developers and the NYPD. Your signature shows support for the continued existence of a vibrant and positive establishment–one that embodies the creative spirit of the LES and elevates the quality of life for the community.
We tweeted this earlier but wanted to catch up with this afternoon’s flurry of reports on Max Fish’s temporary reprieve. Paper had the exclusive: owner Ulli Rimkus signed a one-year lease extension, keeping the legendary bar on Ludlow Street while she searches for a new location. More from the New York Times:
The extension, which maintains the terms of the current lease, is the result of an agreement between Arwen Properties and the bar’s owner, Ullie (sp?) Rimkus. The lease now ends Jan. 31, 2012… She plans on remaining in the neighborhood, an area that has increasingly become a raucous entertainment district. “We can find a place, build it out, and move on in,” she said. “Hopefully it’s that easy.” The extension also applies to the Pink Pony, a restaurant on the same piece of property. Since Max Fish’s imminent closure was announced in early December, crowds have swarmed in to pay their last respects. On one night in mid-December, Yelawolf, a rapper from Alabama, gave an impromptu performance from a tabletop.
Paper got in touch with Max Fish owner Ulli Rimkus, who says the legendary Lower East Side bar is, in fact, closing on January 30th. There may, however, be a glimmer of hope. Paper reports:
…fear not, Fish fans, Rimkus plans on reopening in the near future with the same friendly bartenders and friendly prices. “We plan on celebrating the last few weeks as much as we can,” says Rimkus, a neighborhood pioneer who founded the seminal art bar back in the days when the now bustling streets were considered dangerous. This Sunday kicks off the celebration with the annual Max Fish birthday party. Another casualty of the economy and greedy landlords is the Pink Pony next door to the Fish, which Rimkus confirms is also slated to close. At this time, it’s unclear whether the restaurant will reopen.