Forced from East Houston, Empanada Mama is Moving to Former Sorella Space on Allen Street

Posted on: February 9th, 2015 at 5:00 am by
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Emma Hearst and Sarah Krathen operated Sorella for a solid six years at 95 Allen Street and became a local hit. The Italian joint was loved by many, yet its demise in May 2014 came as a suprise. In its absence, however, the store itself was unable to procure a reasonable replacement.

Until now.

95 Allen will soon welcome the arrival of Empanada Mama, one of the restaurant refugees currently in flight thanks to Ben “Sledgehammer” Shaoul and his plans for the corner of East Houston and Orchard. It’s seemingly a blessing in disguise, though. The old Sorella space is much larger than both 189 East Houston and the OG dispensary on Ninth Avenue.

We are told that the lease was just signed last week and that build-out will occupy the next four months. “We should be closing the current LES location hopefully right around the same time we open on Allen,” ownership remarked in an email.

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By that logic, demolition of the commercial strip probably won’t commence until springtime. Once cleared, the notorious developer-landlord will erect a ten-story phallus there at 196 Orchard, arguably obliterating the low-rise nature of Hell Square. It’ll occupy pretty much the whole corner of East Houston; the sale of Katz’s air rights helped make it happen.

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