Celebrity Chef Julieta Ballesteros Gambling on Problematic Pink Pony Space
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It’s been two-and-a-half years since Pink Pony departed the Lower East Side, but who’s counting?
Since its forced closure at the hand of a $6,000 rent hike, the large restaurant space has remained dormant. Absolutely zero activity here except for the placement of numerous leasing signs in the windows and above the entrance itself. However, today we can bring word that a new nightlife tenant is rolling the dice, the second within the last year. (Shaoul refugee Taqueria was swayed from signing here and instead settled on St. Mark’s Place.)
Celebrity Chef Julieta Ballesteros – owner of Crema on West 17th Street – is apparently angling to take over 176 Ludlow Street. Notices are pasted to the shuttered security gates. Information is rather scant at the moment, but we do know that she’s seeking beer-wine approval from Community Board 3 next month.
Proceeding with a restaurant in this location is a gamble for Julieta Ballesteros. The house will win this one, for sure. As we reported back in February, 176 Ludlow is littered with DOB pitfalls. It’s 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).