Monday, January 6, 2020

More details about Zum Schneider's February closing date on Avenue C



As we first reported on Dec. 23, Zum Schneider is leaving its home of 20 years on Avenue C and Seventh Street next month.

The landlord, listed as 229 East 7th Street HFDC, did not renew their lease.

Owners of the popular biergarten and restaurant offered up more details about the pending closure in an email to customers late last week. (Thanks to all the EVG readers who shared this!)

The email reads in part:

It is now very clear and final that Zum Schneider, the way you know it on Ave C and East 7th Street, is coming to an end on Feb. 29, 2020. You deserve to know what happened, so here comes a short explanation.

Exactly one year ago we wrote to our landlord, 229 East 7th Street HDFC, a letter requesting an extension of the lease for the store where Zum Schneider is located, because we were just about to enter the last year on our lease that we signed in February 2000.

After we did not hear from the co-op, we contacted them again. After the third reminder they confirmed reception of our letter but nothing more. Then, months and months of following up on our letter went by with no result or reply whatsoever. We had no other choice but to set the deadline of Aug. 31. We explained that not just the restaurant owner and management need to know where the future lies, but the crew of 25 part-time and full-time employees deserve to know whether they have a job at Zum Schneider in 2020 or not.

On Sept. 1, 2019, we received a letter from the co-op's lawyer stating that they have no intention to renew the lease, and that we are to vacate the store by Feb. 29, 2020. In the following months we tried to convince the co-op that we are in fact a good tenant that has paid his rent on time every month for 20 years. We recommended different solutions, e.g. a shorter term lease, but the co-op was simply not interested. Therefore it is now 100 percent irreversible and unchangeable that our last day on Avenue C will be Feb. 29, 2020.

Here's what will happen in the next 8 weeks:

• Our restaurant will operate business as usual until Feb. 2. We then have to close the kitchen and will operate as a bar only. On Feb. 20 we'll kick off our annual Karneval party, which will go for 6 days, and will also double as our closing party.

• Feb. 25 will then be the very last day we're open to the public.

Future of Zum Schneider:
We will take a moment to reflect, and then start the search for our new location in Spring 2020. We intend to stay in Manhattan, and we are looking forward to turn the page and start with a fresh breeze, to create an even better and funner Zum Schneider elsewhere and with a landlord who appreciates our tenancy.

Last and most important:
We cannot thank you enough for your patronage, enthusiasm and loyalty over the years. Every Zum Schneider patron is part of the big Zum Schneider family. We are very anxious to welcome you and serve you the Bier, fare and fun you became familiar with over the years, at a new location in the near future.

Zum Schneider did announce that they will once again host their Oktoberfest tent along the East River this coming fall.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Last Christmas for Zum Schneider on Avenue C: Biergarten on the move in 2020

24 comments:

Oh well said...

the co-op board can do whatever they want but that seems like a pretty crappy way to deal with a 20-year tenant who's paid rent on time and is willing to deal for a new lease. if the restaurant was an undesirable tenant, then the co-op should have told them that at the start and given them time to plan a move and hopefully save jobs.

I know it can suck to have a restaurant/bar in your building but if you don't like it, then just tell the business owner. Staying silent and not responding to inquiries for most of the year is a dick move.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a bummer

james said...

The corner will be empty and dark a long time not making it exactly safe. There was always conflict with the board, yes on occasions with various celebration it could be noisy but over all it was quiet weekdays and closed relatively early compared to other places on Ave C.
The board wanted the rental income (they are going to miss it)but no accommodation to the business. Should the board try to lease to another organization requiring a Liquor license I will sign any petition opposing it. I want them to have their silent nights.

Anonymous said...

Hated it and what it meant when they opened here. But now they are innocuous compared. If the HDFC does not have another tenant already lined up this is a very very bad and irresponsible move from a fiduciary point of view.

Anonymous said...

After learning that this is an HDFC building, the whole thing doesn't surprise me any more.

The co-op owners there are going to be looking at special assessments to pay for things that used to be paid for by the restaurant's rent.

Anonymous said...

Co-op may have feared that giving them too much notice would lead to months of goodbye parties, and a "what do we care, we're kicked out" attitude.

Anonymous said...

Classic NYC real estate garbage!

Anonymous said...

We are, of course, hearing one side of the story, While the HDFC lawyer may not be at liberty to detail complaints (if there were any over the years that were not attended to), individual members of the Co-op, under the Anon listing might want to enlighten us.

james said...

"what do we care, we're kicked out" attitude. Hardly would happen it was expected in late August by the Boards lack of professionalism that lease negotiations would not take place.
The celebrations that take place are the traditional ones like Christmas Carol-ling and Karnival along with daytime German soccer matches.
I was at the bar when the Super came by for the rent this month,now me I would have told her I dropped it in the mail. I am sure in Feb there will be many patrons coming by to say goodbye..the Bierhalle will for sure not be getting an Irish goodbye.

Anonymous said...

The fact that the co-op board & its lawyer could not respond in a timely manner to the tenant really says it all: UNPROFESSIONAL.

Giovanni said...

Co-op boards suck, and are often worse than dealing with an individual landlord. So are big real estate companies, as this is the same kind of runaround StuyTown gave to Associated when they were begging for a new lease. So now, Mot only does the neighborhood lose two good businesses, but all of those jobs and the money spent by employees goes away too. So when you see an empty storefront, multiply is by a factor of 5, 10 or 100 for the number of jobs that would be saved or created if the landlord was just slightly more reasonable in their demands. It must be nice to have so much power in your hands and not give a damn whose lives are affected by your decision.

Anonymous said...

@14:42pm: Giovanni, believe it or not, good co-op boards *do* exist. However, the board of this building sounds sucky - or at least like it can't handle routine business in a timely manner.

Anonymous said...

That place is mad noisy, I don't blame them, if they are an HDFC, they were probably just tired of the annoying drunk hooligans and fratties that were often there. Everything isn't black and white with a bad or good side. Seems they just didn't want such a nuisance place under their homes so didn't renew a lease. Or maybe they had other reasons. Not our business.

Anonymous said...

@5:50pm: The building still would have better served its co-op owners by RESPONDING to the bar months earlier - the bar would have had more time to relocate, and the building would have been able to start marketing the space.

As it now stands, the building is likely to be stuck with empty space for a long time, when that didn't necessarily have to be the case.

Anonymous said...

I don’t blame them either—it was a big party joint and the noise must have been a misery for the people who called it home.
Any East Village resident deserves some sane amount of relative piece and quiet.

afbp said...

APPARENTLY---since AMAZON can supply all the miscellaneous stuff---restaurants are failing---hair/coffee/bakeries/nail/cleaners are existing day-to-day---that leaves BARS---but 'EV residents deserve some sane amount of peace and quiet' (which i agree with)---that leaves the EV with a lot of empty commercial space (for the greedy/sc****g landlords)---pass a law that MAKES THEM PAY A FINE TO NYC FOR EMPTY SPACE (has to be punitive ie 50% of asking rent) and MAKE THEM PLACE DECORATIVE DECALS ON THE EMPTY STOREFRONT WINDOWS---watch how quickly they lower rents to allow the AMAZON competitors to return :)

Anonymous said...

Good riddance. Oh and in business, it's not unprofessional to take your time to respond to something: it's strategic. Tooodaloooooo!

Anonymous said...

@9:24 Ugh.

Anonymous said...

Decorative decals, seriously? What's next, we should all wear name tags so we can say hi to each other? This was a great place and will be missed.

Gojira said...

In the 1980s Mayor Koch decreed that many of the abandoned buildings in Harlem should have their window embrasures boarded up and then painted so as to make it seem the apartments were being lived in; so for example, when you took Metro North through the area you would see these empty tenements with cheerful painted vignettes of cats sitting in the window, a lit table lamp, pots of flowers, etc., all in an effort to make it look less bleak. Didn't work...

Anonymous said...

I dont think this was ever a neighborhood bar. It was noisy, with out of towners, blocking the sidewalk, and not great beer though generous enough serving to easily get bro smashed.

And, to cut through the confusion here, HDFCs are more than just a for-profit housing coop -- especially in a small building like this -- and, aside from their income restrictions as a nonprofit housing group, shareholders have a lot of influence on the board. So if a few residents were uncomfortable with the crowds and noise (I assume, since this is an HDFC, the residents are mostly working class and outclassed by the imported bier hall culture rowdies) the board would respond appropriately. I assume they waited as long as they did, not as a stalling tactic, as some say here, but to do a survey and vote from their shareholders.

Hopefully it's not all doom and gloom as some predict, and this HDFC will help turn the trend down on C from bars to decent neighborhood restaurants or shops. And glad San Loco is back, too, and right next door!

Goodbye Zum. It's a new era down on the Lower East. Entrepreneurs, consider parking your so-out-of-character theme bars in Midtown East instead.

Anonymous said...

This place was never that noisy except for around the holidays. Joyface across the street will continue to bring more noise to the block. The neighborhood loses a bit of life seeing them go. If Ave C restaurant across the street closed...maybe ZS can move in. Glad to see the landlord has class in posting the @9:24am comment.... would rather them take their "strategy" and gtfo.

Anonymous said...

I live in the neighborhood and I frequented zum semi-regularly. The food was delicious and the service was great. If you want peace and quiet, you’re living in the wrong city.

Anonymous said...

@3:46 “Entrepreneurs, consider parking your so-out-of-character theme bars in Midtown East instead.”

I’m curious as to what is in character for Ave C? Looking at the neighborhood would that mean cafes, hair salons, trader Bros, target, thai food, and pho? Those aren’t traditional or relevant to this neighborhood character at all. In fact Alphabet City has a rich heritage of anarchists and rock and roll. So more fitting would be something so-out-of-character, like Zum.