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

Michael Shah Spent $19M on this Hell Square Tenement Building

On Wednesday, we reported that Michael Shah (Delshah Capital) picked up the Hell Square tenement at 138 Ludlow Street. With the transaction now public, it appears the controversial landlord paid $19 million for the property. Spending that kind of coin on a pre-war walkup means one thing. The requisite upscaling to luxury living. “Despite its […]

Brooklyn Diamond Coffee Fades from Lafayette Street

It’s no longer proverbial diamond in the rough (of Lafayette Street). Brooklyn Diamond, the upstart coffee shop, shuttered its SoHo java joint earlier this month. Brown butcher paper now hangs in the windows of 234 Lafayette, capping a brief tenure that barely lasted eight months. The original Brooklyn location also appears to be kaput. Both […]

Bowery Landlord Must Fix Unstable Staircase within 2 Weeks, City Says

Controversial landlord Joseph Betesh must fix the destabilized staircase inside 85 Bowery within two weeks, the city stated yesterday after dozens of tenants were evacuated from their homes. As part of the ongoing legal case between Betesh and the tenant association here, the State Supreme Court yesterday afternoon ordered a city inspection of the property. Apparently, the […]

Boss Tweed’s Saloon Won’t be Returning to Essex Street

Today in news that won’t surprise, we can report that Boss Tweed’s Saloon will not be returning to Essex Street. The City Marshals came to the long-shuttered nightclub and seized the space on behalf of the landlord. Boss Tweed’s barely survived its reboot, having spent five months in the wild before a 20-year-old Jersey girl […]

Breaking: DOB Evacuates Embattled Betesh Tenants from 85 Bowery

Down on the Bowery, total pandemonium right now as the authorities just evacuated the embattled tenants of 85 Bowery. Apparently the primary staircase is destabilized due to purported neglect, and a vacate order subsequently issued. This sudden liquidation follows a month after the state Department of Homes and Community Renewal (DHCR) determined that apartments in […]

  • 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!