Leftfield Bar Ends Ludlow Street Run; Mini Rex ‘Dry Karaoke’ up Next?
For the last few days, the gates of Leftfield bar on Ludlow Street have been drawn. Signal, in fact, that the five-year-old operation is out of business. And it was apparently able to sell off its assets.
Indeed, a bartender onsite recently revealed that Saturday night will be the last, that the business itself was sold, and how a new karaoke joint would open next month. Meaning, Mini Rex is more than likely on its way, despite neighborhood opposition.
Their Facebook page notes in a mission statement that, “Mini Rex and Juicebox Heroes are supportive and collaborative entertainment venues which offer the diverse community of the lowereast side options.”
Mini Rex and Juicebox Heroes will operate within all zoning regulations, including business hours- out of respect to our commercial and residential neighbors. Quarterly, it will conduct a clothing swap, a sustainable practice that builds a sense of community and generates clothing donations to the nearby Bowery Mission. It continues it’s support of the sober lifestyle choices of LES residents by working with the local AA chapter and providing a 5x weekly meeting space via second entrance during non-operating hours. Additionally, it supports the community and respects the quintessential LES culture by serving as a platform for local art through the commission of multi-medium/artists work throughout the interior spaces.
As for Leftfield – it’s apparently been a tumultuous six months, ever since we broke news that Mini Rex was gunning for their Ludlow Street bar. The potential sale met fierce resistance from locals, though, seemingly every step of the way. Community Board 3 denied the Mini Rex application for full liquor in April (after a withdrawal the month before), due in part to confusion over how segregating those who drink (the Mini Rex half) from those who don’t (the Juice Box Heroes half) would even work.
Mini Rex continued to fight, while Leftfield simultaneously tried to clean up its record. Ownership of the latter, after reportedly neglecting stipulations for years, made an about-face over the summer, and began complying. They resolved the myriad building code issues, settled violations with the SLA, and even opened a cockamamie sandwich spot (“Holidays at Leftfield”) in the north store.