‘Local 138’ Sets Closing Day Ahead of Move to Orchard Street

Posted on: March 29th, 2019 at 5:00 am by

As a bar, if you can’t make it on Ludlow Street, move to Orchard Street. It seemed to work for Max Fish almost five years ago. And now Local 138 is doing the same.

The dive bar is slated to close its twenty-three-year-old space at 138 Ludlow Street next month ahead of its relocation. Last day is set for April 27, with an eventual reopening at 181 Orchard “in the near future.” (The Quinn ladies boutique previously held quarter here.)

“If you have spent any time at LOCAL 138 since our opening in 1996, the next few weeks are the last chance to say goodbye to this neighborhood staple in its current location and configuration,” reads a public statement just released.

This turn of events was expected. Moving to Orchard Street is essentially the final act of an ongoing drama. As previously reported, controversial landlord Michael Shah purchased the pre-war tenement in January 2018 for $19 million, and gave the bar its marching orders. The initial plan was to downsize the operation to the north store of 138 Ludlow, but to surrender the liquor license and apply for a new one.

When that fell through, Local 138 decided to throw the dice on the former boutique just a block away.

Local 138 debuted in 1996. Its current owner, John Cutillo, took over operations back in 2011, several years after opening Iggy’s just down the block.

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