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How Will Restaurant Rent Hikes Change the Face of Soho?

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Yesterday, the restaurant world buzzed with rumors that Soho favorite Lure Fishbar could close because of an "exorbitant" rent increase. This news comes not long after it was reported that Jo's in Nolita is also closing to become something other than a restaurant, and there have been recent rumors that Balthazar would close (although owner Keith McNally denied that). All of this has led our friends at Eater to wonder, what's the value of basement corner space in Soho? As the neighborhood has changed over the last few decades, rent increases have repeatedly pushed out local restaurants to make room for retail tenants who can afford much higher rent. What do these continued commercial rent hikes do to a neighborhood?

One (rather pessimistic) commenter on Eater said, "Soho used to be a wonderful area filled with artists. Now it's the Staten Island mall filled with vapid Manahattanites and trashy Europeans looking for a bargain on Chinese-made clothing. [...] It's become just like Times Square except it's even more depressing thinking about how lovely Soho used to be in the '80s. All of NYC changes, I just wish the changes didn't always have to include the soul-sucking noises of mass consumerism at play." Let's not forget that this is the same neighborhood where residents get so fed up with tourists that they start punching them in the face.
· Loyal Customers Outraged by Rumors of Lure Shuttering [Eater NY]
· Nolita Neighborhood Favorite Jo's to Close This Month [Eater NY]
· McNally Calls Rumors of Balthazar Shuttering 'Ridiculous' [Eater NY]
· Soho Denizens Losing It, Now Beating Tourists [Curbed]