Curse of 71 Clinton Street Strikes Again as ‘The WhaLES’ is Evicted
Over at 71 Clinton Street, the storefront hex is alive and well. Indeed, the sixth restaurant in eight years just shuttered.
Except for a brief reprieve a couple weeks ago, Korean gastropub, The WhaLES, hadn’t been open much lately. The bar-restaurant debuted in June 2016 and quickly collected the requisite foodie accolades for being a new Lower East Side establishment. However, the business officially went belly up last week after City Marshals paid a visit and returned the premises to the landlord. The notice, dated last Thursday, is pasted in the window.
Perennially hexed is 71 Clinton Street. Every restaurant in this spot since the eviction of Fat Hippo seven years ago has been from the same principle (In Sook Sterling is the name on the liquor license) – Patate Fellow (closed May 2011), Hachember (closed February 2012), Itazakaya Dodom Pa (closed 2013), and Seoul Chicken (closed July 2015). And now The WhaLES. All met the exact same fate. With this latest development, it seems ownership might be done with the retail space.
Does anyone really miss these places?
Around the corner, meanwhile, the same address sprouted a Blue Bottle coffee dispensary five months ago. It replaced the San Marzano pizzeria that fell victim to a debilitating flood in February 2014.
This troubled property is owned one Robert Jaffe, who forked over more than $16 million for the 7-story, 15,000 square-foot corner building in November 2015. The previous owner, Steven Rosenfeld, filed for bankruptcy in 2011, and Jaffe purchased the assets in a court-approved auction.