City Marshal Comes for Calexico 9 Months After Closure; Croman Wants $12,500 for the Space

Posted on: May 27th, 2016 at 5:00 am by


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.

Recent Stories

How the New Owners Really Feel About the Demolition of Sunshine Cinema

The wrecking ball is coming for the Sunshine Cinema – which closed down at the end of January – and the new ownership couldn’t care less about it. In a Q&A with the Commercial Observer this week, Gregory Kraut, a managing partner at K Property Group, exhuded a rather flippant attitude toward the 1898-era building. Kraut’s […]

Upscaled 168 Suffolk Street Sells for $12M

As East Houston Street continues its trajectory to luxury life – there are multiple towers under construction – the effects are felt in the immediate vicinity. Case in point: the sale of 168 Suffolk Street for more than twice the purchase price three years ago. Eunhasu Corporation acquired the gussied-up 168 Suffolk Street for $12 […]

OddFellows is Opening a New Ice Cream Shop on East Houston

Without craning your neck upward, you would probably have no idea that OddFellows is opening a new outpost on East Houston Street. Six months after its autumnal “carnival” stunt nearby in SoHo, the Brooklyn-based ice cream shop is readying something new at the corner of Mott Street. Interior build-out has been underway here for the […]

How to Snitch on Building Owners for Not Shoveling the Snow

After snowstorms, many building owners are guilty of neglecting the sidewalk cleanup. Some are late to it, and others just ignore altogether. Some are even chronic offenders; you know who they are if you’ve walked the Lower East Side streets enough. Here are the rules for snow or ice cleanup. Landlords basically have a four-hour […]

Vacate Order Partially Lifted After 85 Bowery Staircase Replaced

Rehabilitation of 85 Bowery hit a snag this week after workers discovered asbestos while replacing the unstable staircase. Presence of the carcinogen on the third and fourth floors means that the timetable to completion is now delayed. But the staircase is now complete, and the Department of Buildings acted in kind. The full vacate order […]