Another local business is being forced to close due to a big rent hike.
El Maguey y La Tuna has been located at 321 East Houston St. for the past 15 years. Today Maria Cortez told us her family-run Mexican restaurant will be forced to shutter by the end of March. Her landlord is doubling the monthly rent to $14,000. Cortez told us it was difficult enough to sustain the small business before the increase. In addition to the higher rent, the property owner wants El Maguey to pay half of his property taxes.
Cortez got in touch with us because she wants her customers to know that the restaurant will be closing soon. She grew up on the Lower East Side, and wants to stay in the community. The family is looking at other spaces, and also considering a street cart. The Street Vendor Project of the Urban Justice Center is trying to help.
El Maguey y La Tuna moved from Williamsburg to the Lower East Side in 2002 after a fire.