Empanada Mama Closes Its East Houston HQ Ahead of Shaoul’s 10-Story Condo Tower; New Location Opening Soon
And then there were two…
For the last year, the northeast corner of East Houston and Orchard Streets has been dying a slow death in the lead up to its resurrection as a beacon of luxury. You can thank Ben “Sledgehammer” Shaoul for the loss of local favorites like Bereket and the Lobster Joint. He’s building a ten-story mixed-use tumor with 94,923 square-feet of residential area and a commercial footprint of 13,463 square-feet. There will be 83 dwelling units and community facility space for a “physical culture establishment.”
Meanwhile, the countdown to demolition (and rebirth) continues with the departure of Empanada Mama from the block. Service at the Colombian restaurant ended earlier this week. Twin signs in the window informs patrons of the closure and eventually move south. These tidings happened a couple months earlier than owner Socrates Nanas had initially mentioned.
For Nanas, the forthcoming development onsite is a blessing in disguise. Empanada Mama is currently amidst a relocation to 95 Allen Street, the space formerly occupied by Sorella.
The new Allen Street digs – now under renovation – is many times the size of its current iteration. Enough to hold not just a few counter spots, but a spread of 21 tables and 70 seats. A full-on restaurant. Moreover, Nanas received approval last month from Community Board 3 to maintain 24/7 business hours with food service all times and liquor service ending at 2am.