‘Lowlife’ Fails After Six Months on Stanton Street
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It’s safe to say that 178 Stanton Street is now on the list of Lower East side cursed spaces. Lowlife, the concept-driven establishment based loosely on the book of same name by Luc Sante, unexpectedly shuttered on Friday after a paltry six months in business. Just as everyone was leaving town for the holiday.
The typical early hype couldn’t change the fact that this particular block is a hard sell for the clientele this type of business sought. Especially when charging that kind of loot for a middle-of-the-road product.
The restaurant’s sudden closure came as a surprise to staff …
Investors — who had little previous hospitality experience — might have been rattled by unexpected costs, as well as the slow process of turning a profit with 60 seats in an out-of-the-way downtown location.
Of course, it didn’t help matters that New York Times food critic Pete Wells panned the place – “When I remember how much money I’ve spent there and how bizarrely pretentious the service can be, not just for the Lower East Side but for any neighborhood, I want to shake them by the shoulders until they come to their senses.”
Hugh Crickmore, onetime partner at Mas (Farmhouse), joined up with former Blanca chef Alex Leonard on the project, which opened last November. Lowlife is the third such quickie closure at this address in the last four years. It joins the Moldy Fig (d. February 2012) and Stanton Kitchen (d. June 2015).