Rent Hike Ousts Trendy ‘El Rey’ Cafe After 5 Years on Stanton Street
Time has come for El Rey on the Lower East Side. The trendy California-style cafe, founded by Nick Morgenstern back in 2013, is closing at the end of the month.
El Rey spent five years at 100 Stanton Street, and in the end, a rent hike is allegedly to blame. The official word is that ownership failed to strike an agreement on the lease renewal, and Morgenstern decided to walk. And to focus more on his downtown ice cream empire, Morgenstern’s.
Nick Morgenstern created El Rey at 100 Stanton Street in September 2013, and brought aboard chef Gerardo Gonzalez. The tiny 350 square-foot eatery garnered plenty of accolades out of the gate. Three years later, though, Gonzalez fled to form Lalito in Chinatown. He’s since left that venture and bounced from the city altogether.
El Rey will serve its last meal on November 29. What follows at 100 Stanton Street remains to be seen.