Rumor: ‘Sugar Cafe’ is Closing Down at the End of the Week
The sugar high is gone; now the big comedown.
The no-frills, 24/7 Sugar Cafe has been fueling the area from 200 Allen Street (East Houston) for over a decade. It’s weathered the winds of gentrification and more than five years of roadwork at its doorstep. But apparently a rent increase is doing them in.
Several readers inform us that the reliable corner cafe is closing at the end of the week. Reason given, while unconfirmed, is a “huge” rent increase by landlord Serge Hoyda. As in, doubled.
“It’s one of my fave places in the neighborhood, one of the last with fresh, affordable food that locals patronize,” one of the upset tipsters tells us.
Below is the origin story of Sugar:
When Joe Dvir, proprietor of the Slims Bagels came across a rundown, dilapidated corner store that intersects Houston and 1st Avenue, the first thing he thought to himself was “What a great spot for a 24/7 café”. The creation of Sugar was inspired through a blend of hard work and creative vision. The glass framed facade of this café lights up the street with larger-than-life screens projecting all manner of local artwork and eclecticism.
Sugar Cafe ownership did not immediately return our request for comment.
This rumored closure might have something to do with the ongoing work at the southeast corner of East Houston and Allen Streets. The two buildings to which Sugar is attached – comprised of 175-177 East Houston – are in a state of construction flux. Both are stripped down to skivvies, head to toe. That includes the Preserve 24 space, too. It’s a complete gut job; Department of Buildings permits call for apartment renovations on floors two through four and “structural repair work.”
Efforts are simultaneously underway to modify the Certificate of Occupancy in both 175-177 East Houston and 200 Allen to legally permit an “eating and drinking establishment” that holds a combined three hundred people on-premise. The CO tune-up may also be tied to unconfirmed allegations that the enclosed alley entrance accommodating the adjacent 199 Orchard Street may allegedly exceed the property line. (This happened years ago and effectively sealed off the second egress from the Sixth Ward patio.)
Meanwhile, neighbors still worry about the commercial space and a CO of 300. That would certainly have a tremendous impact to the quality of life for residents living behind, next to, and above this proposal.