Tuesday, June 20, 2017

San Loco is closing its 2nd Avenue location after today



After today, San Loco will no longer have a presence in the East Village.

The quick-serve restaurant took to Instagram yesterday to announce that they are closing on Second Avenue between Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place.


We are heartbroken to announce that we are closing our 2nd Ave location due to a rent increase that is unsustainable. Tomorrow, June 20th will be our last day of business. Our other #sanloco locations will remain open so please come visit us. Thank you 2nd avenue for 30+ years, we will surely miss you.

Owner Jill Hing, whose brothers opened this location in 1986, talked to Jeremiah Moss last November about their struggles to stay in business.

There are many factors that contribute to our struggle to survive — and the noose definitely keeps tightening. Our customer base has been mostly squeezed out of this neighborhood as a consequence of hyper-gentrification. Rent is a constant source of stress. In our case, as with many long-standing businesses, we are at the mercy of the landlord and live in fear of our next rent renewal.

They can raise your rent exponentially to just force you out, or they can charge you above market because they know moving is not a viable option. For example, one of our location's lease is up in the spring, we have been tenants there for 20 years, but still they are asking about 15-20% above the comps around us because they know moving is expensive, disruptive, and can cost us our liquor license (although San Loco obtained the liquor license it stays with the address). And regardless of our good standing with the community board, we could be denied a new license, or most likely, be given one with limitations. There are moratoriums on most blocks now because of the over saturation of restaurants/bars in the neighborhood.

Rent aside, there's also more competition, with Otto's Tacos and Taqueria Diana opening nearby in recent years.

The Avenue A San Loco closed in 2014 after 15 years in business.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

I wonder how much the travelers setting up camp out in front on Second Avenue has hurt business. I avoid that stretch now because of them.

Anonymous said...

So even though the rent is THE problem, you're concerned about the travelers and how they affected the business. Got it.

Business can't be too bad if rent costs are above market despite the travelers, no?

Anonymous said...

I like this place and I miss the one that was on A near 10th street. I was simple, friendly without any pretense something getting impossible to find these days.

Anonymous said...

The 'travelers' are a blight and trouble. I wish someone would raise the rent on them.

Anonymous said...

Good riddance. I stopped eating there after they refused to honor the lunch special and give me the drink that is included.

Anonymous said...

the crusties don't seem to be hurting business at 2 Bros on St. Marks

Anonymous said...

@8:46 am and @ 9:36 am - zi live in the building above San Loco and agree the travelers are a fucking nightmare that would not be tolerated in any other neighborhood. It's only a matter of time before someone tragic happens (again) related to this filthy, drunken mass of people/dogs. Please srep up for the safety and peace of our hood, and implore the 9th precinct to moves these folks along. Personally, I'Ve suffered enough watching a large part of my block explode and burn to the ground. We deserve a break.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the crusties should move to Gracie Mansion with DeBlasio!

Anonymous said...

Unlike Annon 9:46 I don't condemn a business to closure because I wanted the lunch special after "lunch hours".

Anonymous said...

Some of the 'Travelers' are such LOOOOOOOOOOOSERS that they actually go out of their way to look for trouble.

Anonymous said...

I avoid walking on that block because of those travelers. I feel bad for their dogs.

Anonymous said...

I did not order a lunch special after hours.
They failed to provide the drink that was included in the lunch special because they were too lazy to change the carbonation tank- so I asked for a canned soda instead and they would not do that either.
I asked for a refund. Left.
Never went back.
No sense of customer service.

Anonymous said...

I often work until 2:00 or 3:00 AM and frequently stop @San Loco to pick up tacos on my way home. I will miss them, and with great sadness, so many of the other losses on this stretch of 2nd Ave.

Anonymous said...

I love San Loco and I loved this location. I am so sad to see it go, and my stomach and taste buds are even more upset. New York is just a place for rich things and hifalutin nonsense. Manhattan will soon be left with nothing but rich people and the people who serve them.

Anonymous said...

Tacos Morelos on 9th is pretty good.

Anonymous said...

Tacos Morelos IS awesome. But as to the 2nd Ave San Loco: I used to love it and would have stayed loyal (perhaps even despite the deliciousness of T. Diana) -- BUT the service and atmosphere really went downhill.

Possibly contributed to by the insane $$ pressures.

Anonymous said...

I have great San Loco memories. My bandmates worked there for a spell during the good old days. It was a good hangout, and probably my favorite place to chow down after boozing it up. This is not mexican food, it's its own kind of thang and therefore unique in the neighborhood. At least there's still the one on Stanton.

Fuck this place, the east village.

jose garcia said...

i'm just glad i'm not still a much younger drunken man who needs some pre-hangover food. i'll miss san loco too. it was a part of my 20s and 30s here. xo

Anonymous said...

Bummer!
I've been eating here since the 80s when tacos were $1. Great rock and roll hangout food! Good times!

I stopped in for lunch last week and I'm glad I did. I'm surprised they survived as long as they did. Not much else has.

Anonymous said...

So what's left of the old East Village (to me the EV before 1992 as that year is a quarter of a century ago)?

The rule is places which have continuously been open in the same East Village location since before '92.

Off the top of my head thus NOT a complete/definitive list so a preemptive "chill out" to anyone who thinks I'm intentionally leaving a place off.

Ray's Pizza
Continental
Gem Spa
Orpheum Theatre
Odessa
Ray's Candy Store
Pyramid
Sophie's
Mona's
Nuyorican Poets Cafe

What else? Again, it has to be a place which has been continuously open in the same EV location since '92.


Dan C. said...

Anon 3:51 PM

Paul's
St Marks Comics
Baczynsky Meat market
ENZ
B&H
Veselka
Gizmo Sewing
Veniero's
Three of Cups
Cafe Orlin
Tom & Jerrys

g whiz said...

This is so sad. San Loco was a great place to go after shows at Continental and Coney Island High when it was on the west side of the street. Tacos were 60 cents and there was always some punk rock dude behind the counter talking about which shows were coming up. Every band or band related business had to put their flyers up on their wall. I even remember they used to take down flyers every monday so everyone would put them back up on tuesday for maximum exposure. It wasn't just a taco place it was a hub for a lot of us in bands. Unfortunately it moved away from that but I'd still go every now and then and get a soft-shell.

Anonymous said...

Not sure of the previous comment? Are we naming anything (bars as well)?

Theatres and food:

B&H
Pauls burger joint (pauls palace before)
Veniero's
Sidewalk cafe
John's
Cafe Mogador
Veselka
Casa Adela
Two boots
Hasaki
East Vill meat market
vilage cinema east
La Mama
Theatre 80
Theatre for New city
Astor Place theatre
The Public Theatre





Anonymous said...

The rents are insane and that's why businesses need all the support they can get. Having the crusties hanging around outside this location is not good for business. My neighbors and I avoid this stretch on Second Avenue now because we don't want to be harassed. This has had to have an impact on this business. Once a customer gets out of the habit of stopping by for a few months to avoid the crusties they move on to other places.

Anonymous said...

Veselka
Paul's Burgers
Orlin
Virage
etc...

There are still quite a few, thank God.

Anonymous said...

Message to all...Who the fuck really cares..Think of all the PEOPLE who lived here and have moved on to their place in heaven

Giovanni said...

You want old? Here's old. Complete wth addresses and when they opened, most of them are 50-100 years old.

Vemiero's 342 E 11th St Since 1894

Lucy's, 135 Ave. A Since 1981

Russ & Daughters, 179 East Houston St. Since 1914

Strand Book Store, 828 Broadway, Since 1927

St. Mark's Comics, 11 St. Mark's Place. Not sure but it's pretty old.

Old Town Bar on 45 East 18th St. Since 1892 (not the EV, but close enough)

Katz's Delicatessen, 205 East Houston St. Since 1888

Veselka, 144 2nd Ave. Since 1954

Gems Spa, 11 2nd Avenue, since the 1920s, then under this name since 1954

Block Drug Stores, 101 2nd Ave Since 1885

Nuyorican Poets Cafe, 236 East 3rd St Since 1973

McSorley's Old Ale House, 15 E 7th St. Since 1854

Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery, 137 East Houston St. Since 1910, but began business around 1880.

And last but not least, Tompkins Square Park, Since 1834

Sadly, Empire Biscuit will not be joining this list. Ever.

Anonymous said...

3:51pm back again. Dan C., 4:41pm & Giovanni: You...are...the...best!

I've compiled a list of everything all four of us have listed below.

Everyone/anyone please feel free to add to this list.

Ray's Pizza
Continental
Gem Spa
Orpheum Theatre
Odessa
Ray's Candy Store
Pyramid
Sophie's
Mona's
Nuyorican Poets Cafe
Paul's
St Marks Comics
Baczynsky Meat Market
ENZ
B&H
Veselka
Gizmo Sewing
Veniero's
Three of Cups
Cafe Orlin
Tom & Jerrys
Veniero's
Sidewalk cafe
John's
Cafe Mogador
Casa Adela
Two Boots
Hasaki
East Village Meat Market
Village Cinema East
La Mama
Theatre 80
Theatre For The New city
Astor Place Theatre
The Public Theatre
Virage
Lucy's
Russ & Daughters
Strand Book Store
Block Drug Stores
McSorley's Old Ale House
Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery

Anonymous said...

What's with all the negativity? Come on people. Get it together, please. Confront the anger, release it, and move on.

Anonymous said...

Search and Destroy, St. Marks Place... Jules' St. Marks Place, Veniero's 11th St.,Veskelas...

Anonymous said...

This place has been garbage for 15 years. Good riddance sad excuse for Mexican food.

Anonymous said...

I moved to NYC in 1997 & have regularly eaten @ San Loco since 98 (forgive me, for I lived in Brooklyn the first year.) My first San Loco was the one on Avenue A. I've used 2nd Ave approx once a week since Ave A closed. Saw this story this morning & planned to go for one last lunch today. Didn't happen b/c a suburban coworker brought me some undeniable home smoked for 11 hours BBQ leftovers.

Happy trails, 2nd Ave San Loco. I'll probably attend the remaining locations from time to time, but for now I'm down one habitual weekly-ish lunch spot. Wait - actually two since Ramen Setagaya changed their broth recipe.

Damn.

On the other hand, it's very nice seeing how much comment section action San Loco has inspired today.

Y'all meant something.

Sincerely - that guy who always orders Stupid sauce on the side.

2ndAveSilverPanther said...

OK, vain old-time East Villager that I am, I wanna talk about me - I have lived in the building above San Loco since 1974. When I moved in, landlords could barely give apartment leases away in this neighborhood.And I performed at Theatre for The New City in 1975 and 1976, when it was still on Jane Street, in the West Village. In 1980, when the San Loco location was home to a hair salon, there was a fire that foreshadowed the horrendous explosion/blaze across the street two years ago, showing how quickly these old buildings can erupt int flames. See ya, San Loco, wish the Crusties would disappear too!

Anonymous said...

Are we including anything in the above list? if so, then definitely Anthology Film Archives... various dates on its stages as an org/buildings inc. Soho, but officially in that building since I think '80 (completed renovations later 80s).

What about Moishe's bakery? (Didn't think I saw it above.)

Ukranian National Home?

Anonymous said...

San loco now charges nearly 5 bucks for a hard shell taco. What kind of bullshit is that? I would wager if they kept their prices down their business wouldn't have dried up

Anonymous said...

Thanks 9:18pm & 1:14am!

Updated list with the places you mentioned not on my previous list at the top.

Keep 'em coming folks!

Anthology Film Archives
Moishe's Bakery
Ukranian National Home
Search And Destroy
Jules'
Ray's Pizza
Continental
Gem Spa
Orpheum Theatre
Odessa
Ray's Candy Store
Pyramid
Sophie's
Mona's
Nuyorican Poets Cafe
Paul's
St Marks Comics
Baczynsky Meat Market
ENZ
B&H
Veselka
Gizmo Sewing
Veniero's
Three of Cups
Cafe Orlin
Tom & Jerrys
Veniero's
Sidewalk cafe
John's
Cafe Mogador
Casa Adela
Two Boots
Hasaki
East Village Meat Market
Village Cinema East
La Mama
Theatre 80
Theatre For The New city
Astor Place Theatre
The Public Theatre
Virage
Lucy's
Russ & Daughters
Strand Book Store
Block Drug Stores
McSorley's Old Ale House
Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery

chris flash said...

• SAN LOCO was and always has been the real deal. A family-owned business based in our community with good food at fair prices. I've been a loyal customer since they opened in 1986.

• I had a long talk with the owners last night outside of the Second Avenue location. They agreed that you can only charge so much for a taco -- their rent was going to increase by 30%. At that point, they decided to cut their losses vs attempting to raise prices simply to further enrich their landlord. They have been in this location for 20 years (since 1997) -- when they first rented the current second avenue location, they dealt with a single property owner with whom they had a good relationship. The building was later purchased by a corporation, causing them to deal with a non-caring management company.

• Real estate brokers have a financial incentive to get suckers into over-priced storefronts where they cannot possibly generate enough business to cover their rent because they get a hefty commission with each new rental. Every time a storefront rolls over, they get another commission. Win Win for them, Lose Lose for small business owners and for the community.

• I pass by crusties/travelers on the LES all the time. Aside from an occasional request for money or a cigarette, they don't harass me or anyone I can see. Like them or not, they are a part of the neighborhood. I would much rather have more crusties and less arrogant monied transients who destroy my neighborhood as they fuel skyrocketing rents and support chain stores. they really believe the LES is an "entertainment zone" -- the idea that this is a NEIGHBORHOOD is completely alien to them. Wherethefuck do they get off looking down on the rest of us as if we are somehow less than they are, due to their delusion of wealth? I can't wait until a major market crash hopefully eradicates this invasive species from our city.

• AnonymASS 3:39: A hard shell taco at SAN LOCO is $3.50, not almost $5.00!!

Anonymous said...

When I first moved the EV, I inquired about where to get an inexpensive meal without the rhe pretensions and kitschiness of the most restaurants around catering only to the tourists and interlopers. Someone suggested this place. So I went. Place was empty and I sat at the counter. Three staff members where just chitchatting, and pretended not to see me. I tried to get their attention and when they finally looked, they just continued on their chitchat. I left and never went back. So please, just because most places that have closed are due to rent increase, don't have that as a reason for San Loco closing. They're living up to their name by doing so.

sophocles said...

1:52 THE idea that this is a neighborhood is becoming completely alien to me too. today i was confronting the crowds who look right through me and those hideous link structures and thinking that I have worn out my welcome here.

Anonymous said...

Crusties are not cool, they're violent, rude, obnoxious etc. enough that tons of people who don't know each other are complaining about them.

They add nothing to this neighborhood but problems.

Anonymous said...

Bullshit 6:42pm.

otto & boris said...

I must admit that this was a bit of shocker for me. I remember when it was across 2nd Ave, near B&H. My kid and I used to occasionally stop by the one on Ave. A, as well. And now the one on Stanton is the only one left. The 2nd Ave. location was a good go-to when you just wanted a quick bite or beer on your way to the train. Unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

God DAMMIT! this was my late night after bar-crawl goto for decades.. now where in the hell am I supposed to get my 2am Bean Guaco Loco from? these Landlords and their bottomless pits of greed and avarice have absolutely annihilated the culture of the East Village and much of NYC.