Why the Pink Pony Space on Ludlow Street Will Have Trouble Attracting Another Restaurant

Posted on: February 11th, 2015 at 10:00 am by
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If you can believe it, we’re already two years removed from Pink Pony’s unfortunate demise. The beloved restaurant on upper Ludlow Street shuttered in February 2013 when landlord Arwen Properties issued a $6,000 rent hike to an ubearable $20,000 sum. It’s still a vacancy.

Since then, 176 Ludlow has been peddled on the rental market without much success. Gates are oftentimes open dayside to boast an empty premises and colorful leasing banners. The most recent suitor for Pink Pony’s pickins was Taqueria on Orchard Street. The soon-to-be refugee is currently being forced from its two-year home thanks to Ben Shaoul’s ten-story development planned for the corner of East Houston. But the Mexican eatery ultimately decided against this relocation thanks to some community advisement, and will instead leapfrog to St. Mark’s Place.

Taqueria’s refusal perfectly illustrates why no restaurant in their right mind would sign a lease here. Both 176-178 Ludlow are wrought with building code issues; a legal quagmire that has the potential of sinking those who proceed.

You see, Max Fish and Pink Pony basically share the same Certificate of Occupancy at 176-178 Ludlow, which allows for a total of 120 patrons. In simpler terms, the two addresses are considered one commercial unit in the eyes of the city. What’s more, neither storefront possesses a legit Public Assembly permit. Simple math therefore dictates the combined occupancy of both restaurants cannot exceed 74 (above that number requires said permit).

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The only real way to mitigate the situation is obtaining a public assembly permit, but that probably won’t happen due to egress and other building permit issues. Plus, Sweet Chick would need to share their occupancy with any potential newcomer.

So yes, any future restaurant at 176 Ludlow would be a gamble.

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