‘Local 138’ Now Eyeing Orchard Street Move
Local 138 has been at its namesake address for two decades, and is beloved by many as one of the last genuine Lower East Side pubs. However, a complicated relocation of the Hell Square watering hole remains ongoing.
Several months after controversial landlord Michael Shah purchased 138 Ludlow Street for $19 million, the bar was given marching orders. Their first play was downsizing to the north store next door, a move that netted apprehensive approval by Community Board 3 last June for a new liquor license in a saturated area (there are about 45 licenses within 500 feet). Shah had reportedly refused to let the bar remove its license at the time, as he allegedly wanted it for safekeeping.
It now looks as though those plans are kaput. The CB3 agenda for this month currently shows that ownership now seeks to remove the license from the current premises and add to 181 Orchard Street. The Quinn ladies boutique previously held quarter here.
Local 138 opened in the mid-1990s. Its current owner, John Cutillo, took over operations back in 2011, several years after opening Iggy’s just down the block.