Our fat little brother Eater got the word out about the (temporary?) closing of new gourmet vegetarian restaurant Heirloom on Orchard Street, and a diehard LESer sees it as just another drop in the bucket. A bucket labeled "Why can't anything on the Lower East Side between Stanton and Houston stay open?" He writes:
I live on Orchard Street, across from the construction site. Heirloom, the vegetarian place, closed this week. Even with several positive reviews and an award from Time Out it couldn't make it. The building that once housed Kitchens and Cocktails is now an Italian called "Big Johns". The turnover on this block is amazing. The space next to Bereket has been vacant for more than a year. The furniture place at 186 Orchard has moved. From talking to people who rent retail space on the street, the feeling is that the owner, Brownstone Mangement or whatever it goes by, is charging way too much for rent. One manager told me that they've seen bigger spaces for less money in midtown and they get a lunch crowd. I'm not sure if this is good or bad. But I found it interesting. And it definitely points to a cooling off period in the LES.
If you ain't a bar, you're doomed, or at least that's how it seems. But kudos to the Hotel Pomeranc construction site for attracting a different sort of crowd. "That construction site has brought huge fucking rats to Orchard street. At dusk and early morning, you can see them running across the street at will. Except for the occasional road kill. And then we all get to see a squashed dead rat for a week or two. Nothing like stepping on crushed rat." Mmm, breakfast anyone?
· Heirloom Closes (special Shutter report) [Eater]