‘Cherche Midi’ on the Bowery Sets Closing Date for June 10
For Cherche Midi, the end of the line is nigh. Final date is set.
We are told by workers that business at Keith McNally’s four-year-old successor to Pulino’s will reportedly conclude on June 10. The cause for closure is apparently the expiration of the restaurant’s lease. However, the state filing noted the reason as “economic,” and that all 46 employees would be laid off.
This is the second high-profile closure on the Lower East Side for team McNally within the last year. Schiller’s Liquor Bar shuttered last August after 14 years on Rivington Street.
Keith McNally first arrived at the southwest corner of East Houston and the Bowery back in the summer of 2008. His stake to the ground space caused quite a stir at the time, especially the imported “Outsiders” art show that inspired a “Slacktivist” protest. It’s believed that the so-called McNally effect helped further gentrify the area, and certainly paved the way for establishments like Pearl & Ash, Rebelle, and Cata; or Rag & Bone to enter the scene at the expense of Cafe Colonial. Pulino’s would debut in the spring of 2010, after nearly two years under construction; it lasted another three years until its end in December 2013.
So, with Cherche Midi doomed to closure, the building itself, 280 Bowery, is already being upsold. Or, in euphemistic real estate terms, “repositioned.” Real estate listings from the RKF brokerage pitched both ground level spaces as part of the deal – Cherche Midi and Yasakart Restaurant Supply – which could be combined. Included in the marketing materials were updated renderings of a potential future, including the industrial-inspired “280 Bowery” signage.
Property records show that landlord Joseph Betesh is still the owner. You’ll recall that Dr. Jay’s magnate acquired the property as part of a $62 million acquisition of eleven Bowery buildings (between Canal and East Houston) in June 2013. It was the same transaction that yielded the controversial, headline-grabbing tenement at 85 Bowery.