White Rabbit on East Houston Changing it Up

Posted on: May 24th, 2012 at 6:46 am by

And if you go chasing rabbits, and you know you’re going to fall, know that the White Rabbit on East Houston is about to change it all. Okay, we’re done with the wordplay…for now.

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Why are we talking about White Rabbit this morning? Well, the Lower East Side mainstay is going through some changes within the next couple weeks to try and reinvigorate business. Owner Jim Chu, lifelong resident of the neighborhood, reached out to let us know what’s in the works for the club. He’s held onto this address – 145 East Houston – for nearly two decades, first as Den of Thieves and then its successor Idlewild.

But times and rents are swiftly changing with the demographics around here.  “Longing for simpler times and lower rents, and frankly, more interesting programming opportunities,” Chu decided to put his beloved business up for sale back in February. A change of heart followed as the revolving door of prospective buyers turned. “I couldn’t stand the idea of giving it up to a bunch of popped collar jackasses and still walking by the place everyday,” he tells us.

So, to make ends meet, White Rabbit will stay open during daytime hours as a communal cafe offering La Colombe coffee, Balthazar pastries, and a few simple sandwiches.”

To encourage the development of community and collaborative work, I am inviting small groups to use reserved space during the day, free of charge and obligation, to develop their work, be it arts, philanthropy, or entrepreneurial. The goal is to create a living expression of the environment that people from my generation were so lucky to have – a world of vibrant, can do attitudes fueled by entirely questionable ideas with Spartan resources.

The revamped White Rabbit will open at 8 am on June 1.

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