Leftfield Bar Ends Ludlow Street Run; Mini Rex ‘Dry Karaoke’ up Next?

Posted on: September 28th, 2017 at 5:16 am by

For the last few days, the gates of Leftfield bar on Ludlow Street have been drawn. Signal, in fact, that the five-year-old operation is out of business. And it was apparently able to sell off its assets.

Indeed, a bartender onsite recently revealed that Saturday night will be the last, that the business itself was sold, and how a new karaoke joint would open next month. Meaning, Mini Rex is more than likely on its way, despite neighborhood opposition.

Their Facebook page notes in a mission statement that, “Mini Rex and Juicebox Heroes are supportive and collaborative entertainment venues which offer the diverse community of the lowereast side options.” 

Mini Rex and Juicebox Heroes will operate within all zoning regulations, including business hours- out of respect to our commercial and residential neighbors. Quarterly, it will conduct a clothing swap, a sustainable practice that builds a sense of community and generates clothing donations to the nearby Bowery Mission. It continues it’s support of the sober lifestyle choices of LES residents by working with the local AA chapter and providing a 5x weekly meeting space via second entrance during non-operating hours. Additionally, it supports the community and respects the quintessential LES culture by serving as a platform for local art through the commission of multi-medium/artists work throughout the interior spaces.

As for Leftfield – it’s apparently been a tumultuous six months, ever since we broke news that Mini Rex was gunning for their Ludlow Street bar. The potential sale met fierce resistance from locals, though, seemingly every step of the way. Community Board 3 denied the Mini Rex application for full liquor in April (after a withdrawal the month before), due in part to confusion over how segregating those who drink (the Mini Rex half) from those who don’t (the Juice Box Heroes half) would even work.

Photo: Mini Rex Facebook

Mini Rex continued to fight, while Leftfield simultaneously tried to clean up its record. Ownership of the latter, after reportedly neglecting stipulations for years, made an about-face over the summer, and began complying. They resolved the myriad building code issues, settled violations with the SLA, and even opened a cockamamie sandwich spot (“Holidays at Leftfield”) in the north store.

When Leftfield had a sandwich shop, July 2017

Recent Stories

These 3 Developments Threaten to Sever Chinatown Traffic Arteries in the Coming Years [Op-Ed]

As if the climate wasn’t dire enough for Chinatown businesses and residents amidst the pandemic, a proverbial perfect storm is brewing. Long-suffering Chinatown businesses, like much of the city, are encouraged by the loosening of indoor dining restrictions and remain hopeful for a return to some level of normalcy. However, it could be short-lived due […]

Community Lawsuit Halts City’s Chinatown Jail Plans

The Borough-based jail plan hit another major snag this week, with a grassroots lawsuit blocking the proposed Chinatown prison. Neighbors United Below Canal, a community organization, announced yesterday that its lawsuit won an injunction against development of the thirty-story high-rise at 125 White Street. Judge John Kelley ruled in favor of the community, noting that […]

Chinatown Fair Arcade in Danger of Eviction

During pandemic times, sharing buttons on game cabinets and sweating over dance games poses a difficult challenge for the remaining brick-and-mortar arcades. Especially the Chinatown Fair Arcade down on Mott Street. No stranger to survival – the 77-year-old arcade had shut for over a year before its revival in 2012 – Chinatown Fair now faces […]

Subway Tribute to Late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Baden Ginsburg

Less than 24 hours after Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, the street memorials started popping up around the city. Indeed, the artist largely known for manipulating city-issued signage (e.g. Aretha Franklin) struck again Saturday afternoon with a tribute to the late justice. This time, at the 50th Street subway station on the Eighth […]

Get a Piece of Mission Chinese Food Before it Closes

Mission Chinese Food is permanently closing its flagship restaurant on the Lower East Side, as previously reported. It lasted nearly six years on East Broadway before coronavirus imposed the business, like so many others. And now Mission is selling off some of its furnishings and ephemera with a stoop sale today. Items include restaurant equipment and […]