The big news from the October CB3/SLA committee meeting agenda is that Artichoke Pizza has designs on taking over neighborhood staple El Sombrero (aka The Hat) on Stanton and Ludlow. CB3 released the agenda last evening.
BoweryBoogie quickly reported the following:
We spoke with the Mexican restaurant and confirmed that the Hat, on the block since 1984, is indeed set to close. However, the Artichoke deal is reportedly not yet finalized. Apparently the owner has, in so many words, had enough and simply decided to cash out the business.
Sad but not surprising news... going back to Jeremiah Moss' post in February, in which he spoke with Regina Bartkoff, a waitress at The Hat since 1988.
"The rent has been steadily going up and they have a lease for a few more years, but in 2012 we took a nose dive. We have been losing our regular customers steadily, due to them not being able to pay the rents on the LES and being forced out. It just keeps going down."
We asked Bartkoff via Facebook last night for an update. She said she originally heard that they'd close in November. But the end will likely come sooner. "I think it's just the last days and I'm going down with the ship."
On the topic of Ludlow Street mainstays closing ... there is an application on the agenda for the Max Fish space. Not much is known right this moment about the mystery applicant:
• To be Determined, 178 Ludlow St (op)
Know anything about the applicant? Let us know via the EVG email.
Oh! And there's also a taker for the former Motor City space. Missed that on the first pass. (H/T The Lo-Down!)
Here's the info for now on that:
• JMDR 127 Ludlow LLC, 127 Ludlow St (op)
As for the meeting:
SLA & DCA Licensing Committee
Monday, October 7 at 6:30 pm and 8:30pm (two sessions)
Community Board 3 Office - 59 East 4th Street
We'll take a look at the rest of the agenda later...
Loved The Hat! Hated The Sizzling Platter! It seemed like every time I went to The Hat and was just getting settled in, some tourist from Uptown sitting at a table next to me would order The Hat's notorious sizzling platter, which emanated so much greasy steam and smoke II was like setting off a roach bomb and then trying to eat dinner, your eyes would water up and throat would get raw from the toxic fumes. I'm sure their sizzling platter violated several EPA regulations and probably also contributed to global warming.
But the food was good and so were the drinks, I'll miss the merengue playing on the jukebox and flirty waitresses, watching the afternoon Met and Yankee games on the old style color TV, the enchiladas, the nice warm chips with the spicy salsa. A waitress once told me she could tell who the gringos were by the kind of salsa they ordered. And they also ordered the sizzling platter.
The other quirky thing I will miss on a nice hot day is their frozen margaritas to go, a nice side business which the cops shut down a few years ago, and I knew that was probably a sign this was the beginning of the end for The Hat. You can probably buy every illegal substance known to man within a one block radius on Ludlow, but a margarita in a paper cup with a straw in it to go is a big no no.
Will miss The Hat, nothing can ever replace a nice old neighborhood hangout. Hopefully the recipe for the sizzling platter will be locked safely away somewhere, we really wouldn't want it falling into the wrong hands.
I think the name, auf Englisch, is "Hat," not "The Hat." Look at (the) sign.
The sign says "El Sombrero", which based on my four years of Spanish classes means "The Hat", which is what everyone else in the neighborhood who went there for 30 years called it. That bad translation was probably for the gringos from Uptown who only know Latin and French. Since they're closing down now it doesn't really matter anymore, so lets all say adiós to a good friend, The Hat is finito (that's Italian for "finished.")
Major bummer. Been going there since the late '80s and the frozen-margaritas-to-go were legendary (until the stupid hipsters ruined it for everyone by broadcasting it, which led to police intervention.)
Artichoke Pizza is overrated.
Are you guys kidding?! The Hat told me "No more frozen-margaritas-to-go", when I last ordered one back in 1985.
I'm going to miss those margaritas. :(
Artichoke Pizza is slop on a crust that appeals to wasted wannabe investment banker assholes. Seems just right for the changing landscape of the LES.
Adios, El Sombrero
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