El Sombrero at Ludlow and Stanton on Its “Last Legs”

Posted on: February 14th, 2013 at 8:11 am by

el sombrero stanton

Will the sour news never end? Today brings word that El Sombrero, colloquially referred to as “The Hat,” is likely on its “last legs.” Apparently 2012 was a terrible year for the affordable Mexican restaurant at 108 Stanton Street.

Jeremiah over at Vanishing New York hears word that the thirty-year-old hang at the corner of Ludlow is steadily losing regular customers due to the ever-increasing rents in the neighborhood. The slight silver lining is that there’s still a few years left on the lease. Regina Bartkoff, actress and a waitress at The Hat since 1988, said the following:

They are not closing yet! They are trying to stay open! 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.

Most Mexican restaurants on the LES are very chic now with a smorgasbord of a million kinds of tequila and fancy appetizers. El Sombrero was famous for their frozen large pints of margaritas that packed a wallop. They are still $8. A big burrito with rice and beans, heavy with cheese is still $9. It was cheap and you could get wasted quick. We waitresses were never told to sell anything and we never hurried anybody out, even if people were lined up and waiting outside. Everybody was relaxed. The waitresses would dance with the customers at any given moment (to the annoyance of some tables waiting for their orders). Working class, artists, gang bangers, and their families mixed together. Writers would write there. Actors and directors met and worked on their plays. I put everybody’s posters on the windows and walls. I gave out cards to my shows and got asked into shows all the time.

Read the full report over here.

Recent Stories

47clinton-sold
Icon Realty Snaps Up 47 Clinton Street for $5M

Two weeks ago, Icon Realty Management made headlines after selling its massive holding at 50-62 Clinton Street for a record-setting $28 million. The transaction now paves the way for a new seven-story residential development. Yet while the real estate investment firm was busy closing the deal, it quietly made a purchase just across the pavement. […]

Photo: Boing Boing
First Two Volumes of Ed Piskor’s ‘Hip Hop Family Tree’ Now for Sale as Box Set

For the music heads out there who don’t already know, you absolutely must check out Ed Piskor’s fantastic “Hip Hop Family Tree” comic series. The weekly cartoons – exclusively published on Boing Boing – illustrate the birth of the art form in an easily consumable manner. If you haven’t been following, no biggie. There is […]

gaia-east-houston
Gaia Italian Cafe is Taking a Week-Long Break Starting Next Thursday

Fair warning that Gaia Italian Cafe is taking a brief recess on September 25. Eponymous owner Gaia Bagnasacco took to the company Facebook page to note that the beloved three-year-old restaurant will reopen a week later on October 2, and to thank patrons for the support. Gaia is certainly a neighborhood treasure, and fiercely protected […]

bowery-delancey-intersection-1
The DOT Not Seeing the Light with Traffic Signals at Bowery and Delancey

The city spent loads of taxpayer dollars the last few years trying to remedy the traffic situation at the intersection of Bowery and Delancey/Kenmare. Road crews keep digging up pavement, repainting the lanes, and beautifying the medians. To no avail. The bigger issue continually shrugged aside is fixing the sequence timing of the signals here. […]

preserve24-eviction
Serge Hoyda Successful in Evicting Preserve 24; Per Se Vet Dropped from Lawsuit

Last Friday, epic failure Preserve 24 (aka Aegis Holding Houston LLC) was officially evicted from 177 East Houston by court order. It has been closed and dormant since late June, and will not reopen under new management as one sign proclaims. The papers served by landlord Serge Hoyda are now taped to the front door. […]

  • david

    As great a dive joint it is/was and sentimental feelings aside, the place is damn awful food and service wise. Hubris. I have many fond memories of going here, but the last few times I went it was horrible.

    • MY LOWEREASTSIDE

      Guess you prefer burger king?

  • http://www.facebook.com/francesa1 Frances Anna Ayers

    Have always loved this place and only a snobbish yuppie would refer to it as a dive joint.It is that attitude that is driving a lot of the longtime establishments out of the neighborhood!