Max Fish Gutted and Filleted [PHOTOS]

Posted on: July 31st, 2013 at 6:00 am by
This image has been archived or removed.

What a difference twelve hours makes. With the blowout sendoff party in the rearview mirror, attention is now focused on gutting Max Fish. Bar staff spent yesterday dismantling some twenty-four years of memories from those grungy walls of 178 Ludlow Street. Perhaps some of that gear will end up at the next iteration of the bar after it opens in Brooklyn (132 Metropolitan Avenue).

This image has been archived or removed.

Here’s one of Max Fish the morning after…

This image has been archived or removed.

Meanwhile, below are some personal thoughts we scribbled in a notebook during the Max Fish scare of 2010. We recently came across the passage and found it fitting to reproduce here.

In the early spring of 2008, construction began on the as-yet-incomplete Hotel Ludlow in the plot adjacent to Max Fish. The familiar scaffolding arrived, and quickly obscured the unique burning cigarette marquee of the dive bar. We remember thinking at the time that the Fish probably would not survive the whole ordeal tucked beneath such a skeleton of ironwork. Seriously, how can you compete with a 22-story luxury hotel? Truth be told, though, this towering eyesore became a major inspiration behind the birth of Bowery Boogie just a few months later.

A Ludlow without the Fish seems incomprehensible. They go hand-in-hand, like a tequila binge and vomit. So if the twenty-one-year-old veteran dies at the end of next month as reported, the neighborhood will have lost a true community character. Yes, it’s a disgusting dive with some semblance of attitude. But it’s our disgusting dive, dammit! Max Fish always extended its middle finger, as it were, to the rampant forces of change; it was always a reminder of punk-ass youthfulness, an aesthetic on which developers effortlessly seized during the pre-recession area gold rush.

In the end, the probable loss of Max Fish represents the demoralizing Wounded Knee moment within the broader context of the war against the old Lower East Side. Perhaps the deluge of support from the local blogosphere, to everyday people on Twitter and Facebook, can help stem the tide. There is always hope.

Recent Stories

This Mott Street ATM Gouges with 17% Fee

Storefront ATMs are nothing new. In fact, their ubiquity was so pronounced that the city banned freestanding ones from sidewalks about a decade ago. Visitors to Chinatown or the Lower East Side unfamiliar with bank ATM locations when in need of cash might not realize the exorbitant fees some ATM operators are charging. For instance, […]

Bongos Taps into Orchard Street with ‘Gala Dinners’

The principals behind five-year-old Kind Regards on Ludlow Street – Michael Bray and Noble Harris – are together joining the party south of the Delancey Divide with a new hangout called Bongos. Bongos opened at 85 Orchard Street earlier this month – on the museum block – reactivating the storefront left vacant by An Choi two […]

Blockchain Company Anchors Sunshine Cinema Replacement Tower

The glassy office building that replaced the beloved Sunshine Cinema has its first tenant. And an anchor, at that. The arrival of San Francisco-based Solana Labs comes mere weeks after the sidewalk bridge outside 141 East Houston came down (thereby freeing Yonah Schimmel from bondage). Solana Labs, a blockchain company, reportedly signed a lease for […]

Man Shot and Killed on Q Train at Canal Street in Unprovoked Attack

A straphanger was shot and killed Sunday morning on a Q train just off the Manhattan Bridge in what investigators are calling an unprovoked attack. The 48-year-old victim, whose name is not released, was shot in the chest around 11:40am yesterday while riding a northbound Q train that was pulling into the Canal Street station, […]

Demolition Begins at Fire-Stricken Dim Sum Palace Building in Chinatown

Demolition started this week at 6 Chatham Square, which, until this month, housed neighborhood favorite Dim Sum Palace. Early morning May 1, a fire in the kitchen spread throughout the building, triggering a five-alarm response from the fire department. All told, five firefighters were injured battling the inferno over several hours. And according to Red […]