Sons of Essex Owners Vying for Multilevel Mexican Clubstaurant at Former Preserve 24 Space
In the three years since Preserve 24 failed in epic fashion, the multilevel retail space at 200 Allen Street (aka 177 East Houston) has been shopped around for the next potential nightspot. Elements of One and One, the Late Late, and Upstate each considered, albeit separately, taking a pass at planting a business here. All backed out. Next on the list of suiters is an operator well acquainted with the Lower East Side.
Indeed, the Line Group is looking to fill the vacancy with a new Mexican concept called Dos Cientos. Much like the other venues in its stable – Sons of Essex, Leave Rochelle Out of It, and the 205 Club – the proposed endeavor carries the combined fingerprints of shady landlord Michael Shah, convicted felon Victor Jung, and James Choung.
The application on file with Community Board 3 shows that the club seeks approval for liquor bars on both the ground and basement levels. Fourteen tables upstairs and twenty-seven downstairs. Proposed hours are to close at midnight during the week and 2am through the weekend. Shah is positioning Dos Cientos as a legit, full-service Mexican restaurant, but hardened Hell Square residents know better. (Sons of Essex and Rochelle’s are not really “restaurants” as they’d have you believe.) Security guards, anticipating lines of at least twenty people, and DJ performances more than ten times per month don’t usually signify a restaurant.
That nightlife would remain part of the equation here is of little surprise. The southeast corner of East Houston and Allen Streets has been under the knife for months to, in part, bring the buildings up to code. According to (confusing!) public records at the Department of Buildings, it appears that landlord Serge Hoyda is applying to obtain a clean Certificate of Occupancy for 177 East Houston to legally permit an “eating and drinking establishment” that holds the proposed 200-person crowd (there is only a temporary CO on file from 2015). However, Shah and company would need an updated Public Assembly permit in the event of this update, which would allow for crowds larger than 74 patrons.
(It’s strange that the entrance is listed as 200 Allen, but they’re using the occupancy of 177 East Houston.)
As a post-script, it’s worth mentioning that the $20 million lawsuit between Shah and former partner Matt Levine is still ongoing.