Two Decades Later, ‘Essex’ Restaurant is Moving Across the Street
Through all the talk of Essex Crossing and its effect on the Essex Street Market, not much was said about the popular restaurant at the northeast corner of Rivington Street. The Essex is also on the move, but will soon find refuge just across the street.
According to the Community Board 3 docket for August, the SLA subcommittee will hear a liquor license “removal application” for the restaurant, which hopes to relocate to 124 Rivington Street. So, it would be The Essex and La Caverna occupying the same building.
If approved, Essex will occupy the ground floor of 124 Rivington, which was recently targeted by La Caverna for an expansion of its own (those plans are obviously kaput). Owner Dave Perlman tells us that the move should happen sometime in November, when the Essex Street Market building is slated to close down for good. Aside from the change in scenery, though, we’re told much of the experience will remain largely unchanged.
“We are moving the restaurant to the main floor when the market closes in November,” Perlman told us in an email. “The menu will have the same style and pricepoints as our current menu.”
Apparently, the kitchen size is doubled and more seats in the dining room.
The Essex was founded toward the end of 2000 by Felice Banker, who converted the northern end of the Market building by adding a mezzanine level. She told The New York Times before opening that she hoped to “draw the hip young residents who have been moving into the area, as well as veteran Lower East Siders, with what she describes as a ‘new American menu with a bent toward traditional cuisines of the Lower East Side: Eastern European Jewish, and Latino.'” The establishment is now known more for its boozy brunches.