Showing posts with label The Hat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Hat. 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.

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."

Monday, January 27, 2014

A look at three possibly endangered restaurants, courtesy of the Daily News

With so many closures of late, the Daily News files a story titled "In New York's tough restaurant marketplace, some fave places are on the endangered list."

The paper's list of five includes three in these parts — The Hat/El Sombrero, Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery and the Stage.

The Hat's situation has been well-covered here ... and here. The Ludlow Street classic remains open for now.

Meanwhile, Ellen Anistratov, the owner of Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery on East Houston, insists that she would like to expand the small knishery that opened in 1910. Still, she admits that business has been off. Per the News:

"In 2012, the city cut off two lanes of Houston St. for construction. Since most of Schimmel's customers now come from outside Manhattan, business tanked, and Anistratov feared she might have to shutter. For now, fanatical followers are keeping it afloat."

Finally, there's EVG favorite the Stage Restaurant on Second Avenue. There has been concern here since news broke that Icon Realty, not exactly known for appreciating preservation and EV institutions, bought the building that houses the Stage. We hear that there's five-plus years left on the lease.

Stage owner Roman Diakun told the News: "I haven't had discussions with the new owners. I haven't even seen them. I just keep sending checks." Business, he says, "has been OK, but a little tough. The Polish and Ukrainian people are mostly gone, and their kids left."

Recently, a rumor surfaced that John's Pizzeria in the Village was closing. Fortunately, that's not the case. But as Jeremiah Moss put it last week: "[I]t's a good reminder to take the time to enjoy the authentic New York places we still have. We know now that anything can vanish, no matter how successful and revered, at any time."

Previously on EV Grieve:
An appreciation: Breakfast at Stage

Troubling talk about 128 Second Ave, and the long-term future of the Stage

128 Second Ave. has been sold

An appreciation: Yonah Schimmel's dumbwaiter

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]