It’s Been Nine Years Since Good World Bar Closed on Orchard Street
Earlier this month marked nine years since Good World bar passed.
Before DLJ Real Estate Partners spent $36 million on the Jarmulowsky Bank for its new (overdue) hotel, and the eastern terminus of Canal Street became hot; before Fat Radish, Bar Belly, Dimes, and Bacaro; before even Les Enfants Terribles (since relocated) when hosiery shops still reigned, there was Good World at 3 Orchard Street. This was the bar of choice for many living in the vicinity.
It was a Scandinavian-inspired cool kids hang which got its start in 1999 when co-owners Annika Sundvik and John Lavelle converted a sketchy Chinese barbershop (i.e. brothel) into Good World. New York Magazine called it a “pioneer” in the area, championing its “long beer list, house cocktails, and rear courtyard.” All under the watchful eye of a stuffed caribou.
The New York Times noted, upon its debut, that “[The owners] had been looking for a place on the Lower East Side when they found this spot, which the police had closed because of a problem with massage booths, presumably not Swedish.”
But its run at 3 Orchard Street came to an end ten years later, when the landlord sold off the warehouse building. The farewell letter noted the “greedy landlord who has never stepped in America, and doesn’t speak a word of English bought this building, evicted the tenants in order to flip it. In place of a thriving business that brought life to this corner, he has left us with an empty hole.”
As always, brick was replaced with glass; a seven-story commercial condo eyesore. It’s been a Chinatown mall of sorts, with an array of stores and offices from adult day care to boutiques.
Sundvik and Lavelle eventually rebounded with White Slab Palace on Delancey Street. The 150-pound caribou head followed, but shortly after the move, fell on a patron, resulting in a lawsuit. The magic wasn’t replicated here; the corner club shuttered in 2011 and Grey Lady eventually took over.
The owners are still around the Lower East Side, though, now heading up the Nordic Preserves stall inside the Essex Street Market. There, you can purchase Scandinavian fare, and still pick up a “Good world burger.”
And the caribou still watches.