City Marshal Comes for Calexico 9 Months After Closure; Croman Wants $12,500 for the Space
For the first time in forever, the roll-down security gates are open at 153 Rivington Street. The shutters have been perennially – more or less – closed since Calexico faded from the commercial landscape last July.
Pasted to the window is the familiar computer-printed City Marshal seizure notice. The order was issued last week; better late than never. So, now the store is back in the hands of the landlord, Steve Croman.
9300 Realty (his brokerage) also reps the space, per poster signage in the window. Rent is pretty high, as you might guess – $12,500 per month.
(Croman was charged with twenty felonies including grand larceny, falsifying business records, tax fraud, conspiring to defraud, and offering a false instrument; his mortgage broker Barry Swartz faces fifteen felonies including grand larceny, falsifying records, and conspiring to defraud. The two face up to twenty-five years in prison.)
In the end, the inaugural franchise location of Calexico invested two years on Rivington Street before failing. We were told at the time that several workers reportedly walked out on the restaurant for alleged lack of wages. The animosity grew, and the business closed. Many of these former employees filed suit against the franchisee (not the OG Calexico).
The Cal-Mex eatery is owned and operated by Brian, Dave, and Jesse Vendley. Anthony Fauci of Innovative Hospitality Concepts was tapped by the brothers Vendley in 2013 as the first franchised unit of the Calexico brand for 153 Rivington Street. They were not involved in the subsequent lawsuit.