Showing posts with label El Sombrero. Show all posts
Showing posts with label El Sombrero. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Lower East Side mainstay El Sombrero has closed

Photos and reporting by Stacie Joy 

El Sombrero, aka the Hat, which has anchored the corner of Ludlow and Stanton Street for decades, will not be reopening. 

Paper has covered the front windows here, leading to speculation about the Mexican restaurant's future. 

Owners Junior and Judy Almonte, seen here on Monday, confirmed the closure to EVG correspondent Stacie Joy...
Pandemic aside, Junior cited the rising food costs and challenges of hiring staff as well as some personal health concerns as the reasons behind the decision to close. 

Distance was also an issue, as the couple, who have four children, now live in New Jersey.

While the restaurant is closing, the Almontes said that they may reopen in another location at some point. Meanwhile, Junior said that they were selling items and supplies from the restaurant. (Interested parties can contact them via social media.)
El Sombrero first opened in 1984, and was known for cheap eats and potent margaritas, which for a time, were available to go. 

With business in decline, the restaurant closed in March 2014 ... Junior, related to the original owners, refurbished the space and reopened it in November 2014
Given this high-profile LES corner, it's hard to imagine the space staying vacant for long. Artichoke Basille's Pizza was a 2014 suitor, though those plans never materialized.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The all-new El Sombrero soft opens tomorrow night

We walked by El Sombrero/The Hat the other morning… taking in the all-new exterior here on Ludlow and Stanton…

The new owners, Jose Almonte and Jose Almonte Jr., are related to the folks who ran El Sombrero the previous 30 years. And they plan on a soft opening tomorrow night with a few select menu items and a full bar. The full menu will be available starting Monday.

An EVG Facebook friend got an impromptu sneak preview this week … and said that the refurbished space looks great … part of the interior includes a giant print of the old El Sombrero…

[Photo by Chrisinda Wain via Facebook]

In addition, the new menu with fresh ingredients looks to be affordable. The new owners kept the old margarita machine (though they still can't sell them to go as in past years).

Here a recap of what has happened here as far as we can remember:

Business at the 30-year-old mainstay had dropped off … then came word that Artichoke Pizza wanted the space… those plans fell through, and, after a reprieve, the inexpensive Mexican restaurant closed for good on March 22. However, El Sombrero returned with new owners on April 1before they closed the space for renovations in mid-May.

Monday, May 12, 2014

The recently reopened El Sombrero will close this week for renovations

Rough times in recent months at El Sombrero, the 30-year-old mainstay on Ludlow and Stanton. Business was off … then came word that Artichoke Pizza wanted the space… those plans fell through, and, after a reprieve, the inexpensive Mexican restaurant closed for good on March 22.

But! As BoweryBoogie first noted, El Sombrero returned with new owners on April 1.

The new owners, Jose Almonte and Jose Almonte Jr., are related to the folks who ran El Sombrero the previous 30 years. Jose Jr. let us know that the restaurant will close early this week for a month-long renovation. He said that they will retain the El Sombrero name.

"We will continue to be a family owned and operated business," he said. "My intentions are to [make this] an eating establishment like no other in the Lower East Side."

Sunday, March 23, 2014

RIP El Sombrero

El Sombrero has served its last inexpensive meal and potent margarita on the Lower East Side. The family owned restaurant closed its doors for good after service last night.

Sad, but not surprising … the restaurant, which opened in 1984, had been struggling to stay open the past few years, as Jeremiah Moss first reported.

No official word on what will be taking over the space at Ludlow and Stanton. The deal for an Artichoke Pizza here fell through. An applicant named Two Almontes Corp. was on this month's CB3/SLA docket to take over the space, but they were scratched from the agenda.


[Photo by Jeremiah Moss]

Friday, February 28, 2014

CB3/SLA committee March highlights: A new applicant for El Sombrero on Stanton Street?

[EVG file photo]

CB3 released the SLA licensing committee docket on Wednesday… the agenda includes a new proposal for El Sombrero on Stanton and Ludlow, which was previously going to become another outpost of Artichoke Pizza. That deal fell through, as BoweryBoogie first reported last month.

Now, an entity named Two Almontes Corp. is aiming to take over the inexpensive Mexican restaurant that opened here in 1984. We asked Regina Bartkoff, who has worked here since 1988, about all this. She has been out of work the last few weeks with a wrist injury. However! "I heard this rumor and called the restaurant and they told me no! Nothing is happening."

So perhaps chalk this up to some pre-mature paperwork. Anyway, The Hat remains open, of course — go while you still can!

Meanwhile, the rest of the docket is pretty quiet in the way of Big Ticket items…

Applications within Saturated Areas
• Zaragoza Mexican Deli & Grocery (Zaragoza Mexican Deli & Grocery Inc), 215 Ave A (b)

Not sure what is going on here… CB3 had previously OK'd a license for beer at Zaragoza back in May 2012.

• Sigmund Pretzel Shop Inc, 29 Ave B (upgrade to op)

• Paprika (Albatross Restaurant Corp), 110 St Marks Pl (op)

• Nublu (Tatu LLC), 151 Ave C (op)

• Bikinis (Eat Bikinis Inc), 56 Ave C (extend license to patio and gallery space)

New Liquor License Applications
• To be Determined, 117 2nd Ave (wb)

This was a scratch from the February agenda … A taker for the very short-lived Picnic on Second Avenue and East Seventh Street.

• To be Determined, 536 E 5th St (wb)

This is the address for the Minca Ramen Factory and Kuboya next door… not sure what space this application is for at the moment…

• Numero 28 (La Meridiana I Ltd), 176 2nd Ave (wb)

• Menkuitei (Shin Restaurant Inc), 63-69 Cooper Sq (op)

Or Menkui Tei.

• Mesa Seaview (Mesa Seaview), 41-43 E 7th St (upgrade to op)


• Eric Thant Corporation, 57 1st Ave (wb) (Pudgie's)

Hmm, Sushi Zayy already opened here at the former Pudgie's-Nathan's-Arthur Treacher's action-packed combo.

• To be Determined, 269 E Houston St (op)

Hahahahaha. This is like the 78th time this has shown up on the agenda. The Local 269 closed here in September 2012. There have been a few potential suitors, though nothing ever came of the various proposals for the bar space. We spotted nine different for rent/sale signs on the business last summer ... The whole building remains on the market for $12 million.

• Gaia Lounge (Sams 1 Lounge Inc), 103 E 2nd St (wb)

The meeting is March 10 at 6:30 p.m. Community Board 3 Office, 59 E. 4th St. between Second Avenue and the Bowery.


b=beer only | wb=wine & beer only | op=liquor, wine, & beer | alt=alterations

Monday, September 30, 2013

El Sombrero likely to remain open until early December

[Photo by Nick Solares via Facebook]

Looks like you'll have a little longer to take in El Sombrero on Ludlow and Stanton. The release last week of the October CB3/SLA committee meeting agenda showed that Artichoke Pizza has designs on taking over the inexpensive Mexican restaurant that opened here in 1984.

At the time, it was unknown just how long El Sombrero would remain open. (BoweryBoogie, who first reported on the item, noted that the deal wasn't quite finalized.)

Regina Bartkoff, a waitress at The Hat since 1988, passed along word this morning that the restaurant is expected to continue operations until early December. The owner's daughter is going to create a Facebook page with updated details about the pending closure.

Meanwhile, Bartkoff said that last week's news has helped boost business. "All these people are sad that we are closing, but telling me they haven't been here in 15 years."

Thursday, September 26, 2013

CB3/SLA October highlights: Artichoke taking over the Hat; taker for Max Fish & Motor City spaces

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.

Updated 10:18

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...

[Image via]