LES Bites: N’Awlins on Orchard Street, Soccer Mania, July Fourth Pig Roast

Levine & Shah Battle Over Sons of Essex, ‘Bodega

Matt Levine outside Sons of Essex.

Matt Levine outside Sons of Essex.

Yesterday, nightlife operator Matt Levine told Eater that one of his establishments, Cocktail Bodega at 205 Chrystie St., would be closed for an extended period due to “building issues,” which he said were related to plumbing problems.  Then a few hours later, Eater posted an update, including a statement from a rep for Levine’s partner, Michael Shah.

“IndieFork Hospitality has parted ways with Matt Levine effective immediately,” the statement read. “We are grateful for all Matt has done for us, and wish him the best of luck with his future endeavors.”  The company also operates Sons of Essex, which the duo opened at 133 Essex St. in 2011.  The plan is, apparently, to reopen Cocktail Bodega “with a brand new concept.”

My LES: Matt Levine

For our regular feature spotlighting the people who live and work on the Lower East Side, we talked recently with Matt Levine of the celebrity hot spot Sons of Essex. If you know someone you would like to suggest be featured in “My LES,” please email us here.

What do you do?

I wear many different hats (and I purchased them all on Orchard Street. Haha, kidding). Hospitality and operations are my passions. I co-own Cocktail Bodega and Sons of Essex with my business partner, Michael Shah. (I guess you can say I am a restaurateur.) I also own a branding, marketing and special events company based out of the LES, Brandsway Creative, with my business partner there, Kelly Brady.

Cocktail Bodega from Sons of Essex Team Debuts May 15

In February, developer Michael Shah announced he had bought into 205 Chrystie/19 Stanton Street, a five-story mixed-use building.  Shah, who along with Matt Levine opened hot spot “Sons of Essex” a few months ago, said they planned a new “restaurant and lounge concept” at 205 Chrystie. Now we hear the new venue has a name and a tentative opening date.

Word is that construction is underway inside the two-level space, which will be called “Cocktail Bodega.”  If all goes according to plan, the new venue will open May 15th.

In a February news release, Shah said:

DelShah Capital absolutely loves the Lower East Side. As a neighborhood, it is further gentrifying and epitomizes the melting pot of New York City. The area is also home to some of the city’s most interesting art galleries, fashion boutiques, new restaurants and leisure locations. It’s no surprise that more and more people are moving here from all parts of the city – there is growing potential for commercial and residential real estate in this neighborhood.


New Year’s Eve on the Lower East Side

Sons of Essex will celebrate its first New Year's Eve this year.

The last night of 2011 is three weeks from Saturday. Have you bought your noisemakers yet? No? Well, no problem, you can always get those at the last minute. But what you can’t get at the last minute is dinner reservations and party tickets. Here at The Lo-Down, we’re starting to collect tips on the New Year’s Eve events and offerings at a few neighborhood haunts. Drop us a line if you know of others at tips@thelodownny.com. One note about the calendar: New Year’s Eve falls on a Saturday night this year. That means no special exemptions for establishments to keep the parties going past 4 a.m., since the state liquor laws kick in on Sunday mornings. (More on that from BlackBook’s Steve Lewis here.)

Click through for a list of what we know so far.

Inked Magazine Celebrates 2012 Calendar Release on the Lower East Side Tonight

Our friends at Fontana’s are hosting the final stretch of the Inked Magazine Sailor Jerry 2012 Calendar Release Party this evening at 11:30pm.  You can catch the Sailor Jerry “tour” with the 2012 Calendar Girls at 133 Essex (a.k.a. Sons of Essex) at 9:30p and at 127 Ludlow (a.k.a. Motor City) before they land at Fontana’s.  Should be a fun night for fans of Inked Magazine, or tattooed pin-up girls, or anyone who likes rum, for that matter.  FREE // 11:30p // 105 Eldridge St.

Wilde, Bateman, Crudup Shoot Movie at “Sons of Essex”

Here’s the scene today inside Sons of Essex, the new hot spot at 133 Essex Street. During the next two days, the restaurant has been taken over by “The Longest Week,” a film starring Olivia Wilde, Jason Bateman and Billy Crudup. According to IMDB, the movie centers around Conrad Valmont, an “affluent and aimless” young man who’s living “a life of leisure in his parent’s prestigious Manhattan Hotel.” In the span of one week,” the synopsis reads, “he finds himself evicted, disinherited, and… in love.” Rumor has it Bateman and Wilde have a dance scene this afternoon. Sons of Essex is closed today but will reopen for dinner tomorrow night.


“Sons of Essex” Rolls Out Video, Reveals New Menu Items

Look what’s popped up online — an intriguing video greeting/LES tribute from the new restaurant, “Sons of Essex,” featuring cameos from all sorts of familiar neighborhood types as well as luminaries from the entertainment and art worlds.

Leading up to a targeted debut next Thursday night (October 27th), the spot at 133 Essex Street has been generating quite a bit of buzz.  Celebrities such as Lizzie Olsen, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, Felicity Jones, Anton Yelchin, Zoe Kravitz and Penn Badgley have stopped by for pre-opening events.