The Max Fish Marquee Cigarette Might Return to Orchard Street Location

Posted on: March 31st, 2014 at 6:09 am by

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Ulli Rimkus collecting signatures for Max Fish 2.0, Photo: InfamousNY

The idea of a new Max Fish two blocks from the original location is certainly intriguing. It’s also an absolute challenge, much akin to getting the band back together to record a reunion album. How to capture that same magic, etc.

But it is happening nonetheless. Owner Ulli Rimkus, who first opened the Fish at 176 Ludlow back in 1989, confirmed to us that the resurrection is planned for 120 Orchard Street. “Gallery Bar wants to move out,” she says matter-of-factly. “We thought we should try to move back to the neighborhood.” (Gallery Bar allegedly owes $244K in back rent)

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And for the Max Fish purists out there, the fabled marquee cigarette might actually make a comeback, yet maybe not the way you remember. It’ll likely return “in some form,” since it’s in pretty bad condition. The neverending construction next door at 180 Ludlow (and 188) – ongoing for some ten years – badly damaged the storefront appendage.

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Max Fish with marquee cigarette, August 2011

In the end, it seems the choice of address seems to compute, at least on the face of it. An old school skater-art bar taking over a farce of an art bar.

Though it’ll most certainly be an uphill battle for Rimkus, who admits that reviving Max Fish will “be a struggle with the SLA.” The liquor landscape has changed quite a bit in the ensuing twenty-five years, birthing the dreaded Hell Square we’ve come to know and loathe.

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Max Fish in 1997, Photo: New York Times

How do you feel about the Max Fish reboot?

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