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Orchard Street’s Interstate Food & Liquor Sold

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IF&L, 74 Orchard St. Photo by Alex M. Smith.

Interstate Food & Liquor, the 18-month-old bar and restaurant at 74 Orchard St., is changing hands. Owner Andy Boose tells us the new owners are “a nice group who will be maintaining much of the look and ‘neighborhood’ feel of the place.” They also plan to retain the chef and the manager, Boose says, though the establishment’s name will change.

Boose holds a regular day job as a global event planner and is also involved in Spitzer’s Corner, Los Feliz and the new Tiny Fork, an oyster bar just up the street at 167 Orchard St., which Boose says is set to open “imminently.”

“Unlike my other bars, I did not have a partner at Interstate who can pick up the slack when I am not in town,” he said over the weekend. “So I chose to focus on projects with strong partners.”

IF & L opened in September 2011, joining a lively stretch of locally owned businesses on Orchard Street between Grand and Delancey streets. In an interview for our June 2012 print magazine story featuring neighborhood eateries, Boose told us: “I opened this place because I wanted a place nearby that I’d like to hang out in. I wanted a local dive bar with basic, good food that would be laid-back even on the weekends.”

Andy Boose, the owner of Interstate Food & Liquor on Orchard Street, welcomed neighbors in the dark after Hurricane Sandy last fall.

On the night after Hurricane Sandy struck the Lower East Side last fall, Boose’s place was among the handful of local places that opened despite the power outage. Manning the bar himself, he spent the evening hand-cranking an old-fashioned radio for news and tunes and serving cold beers to loyal patrons looking to commiserate.

The new owners have applied to Community Board 3 for a liquor license under the name “Tenement LES,” with an individual named Christian D. Lofaro listed as the only principal. Boose declined to discuss details about his successors, except to say that they “are nice guys with roots in the community.”

The online application details a new operation very similar to IF & L’s, s including some events planned in the upper mezzanine space outfitted with a DJ booth, where Boose occasionally hosted art gallery after-parties and other functions.

The application is scheduled to be heard by CB3’s State Liquor Authority subcommittee at its next meeting, Monday, March 11.


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