When it opened it 2003, Schiller’s Liquor Bar was a place lots of locals wanted to hate. But the Keith McNally nightlife spot on Rivington Street gradually won over many Lower East Side residents, including Andrew Kist. A photographer who has lived on the LES since 1989, he was “incensed” when Schiller’s arrived, seeing “it as the beginning of the end (for the Lower East Side) and the ultimate expression of bourgeoise imperialism.”
On his web site, Kist explains how these feelings changed:
I refused to set foot in the place until one fateful night when I left the house with my girl during a biblical rainstorm. She was wearing a tiny skirt and impossibly high heels which necessitated that I put her on my hip and walk her over the small lakes that were forming on every corner. When we hit the corner of Rivington and Norfolk, I nodded at Schiller’s and we went in. The impossibly charming Henry Hargreaves was tending bar, we stayed for hours, ate, drank, fell in love with the room, but much more so with the people pictured here.
Over the years, Kist documented the comings and going at Schiller’s. He agreed to share some of his photos with us:
Thanks for sharing some great shots, Andrew!