Wednesday, March 24, 2010
In our post yesterday on the Cafe Colonial possibly closing, we wondered if the eatery on Houston and Elizabeth would be the first victim of the McNallification of the neighborhood...
Late yesterday afternoon, Daniel Maurer at Grub Street spoke to Cafe Colonial owner Luciane Gilan, who believes her rent tripled thanks in part to new neighbor Keith McNally, and she may just retire when her lease expires May 31.
The landlord now wants $20,000 a month for the 30-seat restaurant that has been there for 15 years.
Here's more from Grub Street's interview:
"I know people who know [the landlord] and they told me what's going on. He said, 'McNally is opening a place and he wants to bring people over and we might get a high-end boutique.'" So does she resent her new neighbor? "I think that he is genuinely a good restaurateur and he does good — the problem is that the landlords think, Oh, because he's a good guy he's going to bring a lot of customers around. So people get greedy and make rents go up. I don't think we, as people who live here, gain anything by having these kinds of things here. Because you know what, who's going to shop in a high-end boutique? I can't and any local people can’t."