Bi-level Mediterranean Nightspot Tries for Preserve 24 Space
Looks like we may have spoken too soon.
While a cheap pizza place took a slice of its former floor area, the Preserve 24 space is still fielding suitors. Word on the street is that nightlife impresario Alon Jibli is next in the long line of applicants for the bi-level space at East Houston and Allen Streets.
You’ll recall that the expansive commercial unit at 175-177 East Houston was last winter considered by controversial landlord Michael Shah for a Mexican club-restaurant (Dos Cientos). His pitch, first denied by the community, went all the way to the State Liquor Authority, yet ultimately received the same verdict.
One year later, Jibli is now purportedly taking a stab. Little is known at the moment about his intentions other than a proposal for a “fine dining Mediterranean” establishment. However, given his background in nightlife (e.g. “Tuesday Baby Tuesday” club night at Tao Downtown), and the sheer size of the real estate in question, area locals fear the usual pattern could unfold here – that of a restaurant morphing into an uncontrollable nightclub.
So, don’t be surprised if the LES Dwellers block association and Russ & Daughters’ Mark Federman, owner of 179 East Houston, get involved. The latter longtimer provided damning testimony to the state last year that helped sink Shah’s bid for a liquor license. His argument at the time could be applicable in this instance, too – that an establishment of this magnitude would render life “uninhabitable” for his residential tenants upstairs.
This could get interesting…
It’s also worth a reminder: since Preserve 24 was deep-sixed in 2014, no fewer than five operators tried to make something work here. There was Terry Dunne and Paul O’Sullivan from One and One (2014); Shane Covey and Adam Elzer from Sauce (2015); James Morrissey from the Late Late (2016); Michael Shah with Dos Cientos (2018); and now, Alon Jibli.
The proposal for a liquor license may appear on the March docket for Community Board 3 consideration.