We have an update today on Jeffrey Ruhalter, the Essex Street Market butcher who temporarily closed up shop earlier this month. Yesterday, Jeffrey was in his old space shooting a television pilot, along with LES chef Marja Samsom (formerly of the Kitchen Club).
He’s hopeful a network will have interest in the series proposal (the details of which are under wraps). It’s at least the third pilot concept Jeffrey’s pitched.
Jeffrey and Danny McNeill, the Ruhalter family’s business manager, both said they hoped to reopen in the next few weeks. They’d take a smaller space (perhaps a half or a third of the old shop). But it’s apparent the financial troubles that prompted the closing are not yet resolved. McNeill said they continue to talk with investors who might be willing to back the business.
Jeffrey’s landlord, the NYC Economic Development Corp., raised his rent 29%, citing the city’s budget woes. Later, they offered him a smaller space at the same rate he’s paying now. Kycle Sklerov, EDC spokesman, told us this morning the city would like to see Jeffrey re-open. As far as the EDC is concerned, the space is still leased by Jeffrey’s Meats. However, Sklerov added, they have not heard anything definitive from Jeffrey about his intentions.
Yesterday, Jeffrey said he’s going a little stir crazy and is anxious to “get back to being a butcher.” His customers would like that, too.