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

Photo: Etsy
Afford Your Rent with this $900 Fire Escape Tent Solution so You Can Airbnb and Stay

This crazy product puts the air in Airbnb. While you struggle to pay off the exorbitant monthly rent your tenement landlord continues to inflate, there is an out-of-the-box solution. Just open the window and pitch a tent from the fire escape. This way you can remain onsite and collect the dole via Airbnb. A win-win. Location […]

4th Street between Avenues A and B, Photo: Clayton Patterson
Clayton’s Corner: The 1980s, Lest We Forget [PHOTOS]

The 1980s, lest we forget… On the one hand we tend to over-romanticize how wonderful the old Lower East Side was. Fact is, it was dangerous, dirty, and often with poor living conditions. There was a blur between the good guys and bad guys; a number of cops were as deeply involved in the illegal […]

249broome-retail
After $12.3M Sale, Longtime Chinese Laundromat Forced from 249-251 Broome Street

The reliable Sun Kwong Laundromat at 251 Broome Street was given its marching orders last week. Alas, its final day serving the neighborhood is tomorrow (May 25). There is a sign on the front door alerting patrons that the business lost their lease. The laundromat kept the area in clean clothes for more than a decade, and […]

belraf-closing
Bloodbath in the Bargain District: 3 More Discount Vendors on Orchard Street Bow Out

It’s a bloodbath in the former “Bargain District.” Three old school apparel vendors are on the way out. All in quick succession. The second coming of Giuseppe Uomo ended earlier this month. But the closure is actually a year in the making. The store closing signs first appeared at 130 Orchard Street around this time last […]

ben-sherman-closing
Ben Sherman to Officially Close SoHo Store Next Week After 10 Years on the Block

SoHo fashion outpost for anglophiles, Ben Sherman, has been on life support (i.e. month-to-month) since last fall. Its stay at 96 Spring Street was extended several times since October in order to deplete all inventory. As previously reported, the brand is ditching its longtime digs after exactly ten years on the block. When we first […]

  • 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?

  • 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!