Bi-level Mediterranean Nightspot Tries for Preserve 24 Space

Posted on: February 26th, 2019 at 5:04 am by

Looks like we may have spoken too soon.

While a cheap pizza place took a slice of its former floor area, the Preserve 24 space is still fielding suitors. Word on the street is that nightlife impresario Alon Jibli is next in the long line of applicants for the bi-level space at East Houston and Allen Streets.

You’ll recall that the expansive commercial unit at 175-177 East Houston was last winter considered by controversial landlord Michael Shah for a Mexican club-restaurant (Dos Cientos). His pitch, first denied by the community, went all the way to the State Liquor Authority, yet ultimately received the same verdict.

One year later, Jibli is now purportedly taking a stab. Little is known at the moment about his intentions other than a proposal for a “fine dining Mediterranean” establishment. However, given his background in nightlife (e.g. “Tuesday Baby Tuesday” club night at Tao Downtown), and the sheer size of the real estate in question, area locals fear the usual pattern could unfold here – that of a restaurant morphing into an uncontrollable nightclub.

Preserve 24 DOA, March 2015

So, don’t be surprised if the LES Dwellers block association and Russ & Daughters’ Mark Federman, owner of 179 East Houston, get involved. The latter longtimer provided damning testimony to the state last year that helped sink Shah’s bid for a liquor license. His argument at the time could be applicable in this instance, too – that an establishment of this magnitude would render life “uninhabitable” for his residential tenants upstairs.

This could get interesting…

It’s also worth a reminder: since Preserve 24 was deep-sixed in 2014, no fewer than five operators tried to make something work here. There was Terry Dunne and Paul O’Sullivan from One and One (2014); Shane Covey and Adam Elzer from Sauce (2015); James Morrissey from the Late Late (2016); Michael Shah with Dos Cientos (2018); and now, Alon Jibli.

The proposal for a liquor license may appear on the March docket for Community Board 3 consideration.

Recent Stories

Man Shot Dead After Opening Door to Gunman at Lillian Wald Houses

A man was shot dead inside his apartment in the Lillian Wald Houses Friday night after the suspected killer knocked on his door, police said. The perp entered 691 FDR Drive just before 10:00pm and went to the fourth floor apartment of thirty-year-old Davon Venable. Reports noted that Venable and his father heard a knock […]

Filmmaker to Get ‘High on Ludlow Street’ with New Documentary [INTERVIEW]

One filmmaker is on a quest exhume the history of Ludlow Street with a forthcoming documentary series called High on Ludlow Street. What follows is an interview with Charles Libin, who talks about the so-called “gift of Ludlow,” memories on the block, challenges of making the film, and the current state of his beloved street. […]

Mayor Adams Vetoes Bill to Fine Non-Artists Residents in Upzoned SoHo and NoHo

The SoHo/NoHo Rezoning saga took a new turn last Friday when Mayor Eric Adams vetoed the controversial bill (Intro 2443A). The last-minute legislation, introduced by former Councilmember Chin, would levy fines against residents occupying JLWQA units without official “artist certification.” The odd JLWQA acronym isn’t the call sign of some defunct NYC radio station; it […]

Gaia Cafe Planning February Return with New Essex Street Locale

Gaia Italian Cafe, a locals favorite, is gearing up for a return. An early pandemic victim, Gaia shuttered its sub-level operations in the summer of 2020 after nearly a decade on East Houston. Then word came through last July that namesake chef-owner Gaia Bagnasacco signed a lease for the ground floor of 119 Essex Street, […]

‘Be My Baby’ and a Strange 1965 Visit to Parisi Bakery (Ronnie Spector RIP)

Ronnie Spector, the chanteuse who fronted the Ronettes in the 1960s with her signature vocal yearning, died yesterday. She was 78. She passed after “a brief battle with cancer,” according to a statement from her family. In tribute to her life and music, we’re re-publishing the following piece from a few years ago highlighting the […]