Max Fish Finally Confirms Closure, Announces Hunt for New Space

Posted on: November 30th, 2020 at 5:16 am by

The six-year-old Max Fish reboot at 120 Orchard Street is not reopening.

The bar closed at the outset of the pandemic and did not return.

Back in September, we broke the news that Max Fish co-owner (and founder), Ulli Rimkus, is trying to sell the assets (Ulli Bar Corp) to a different corporate entity. Paperwork with Community Board 3 provided confirmation.

The most recent suitor is from an events company called 29Monroe, which partners with local bars like Grey Lady, Sel Rrose, and Short Stories.

Opposition from residents and several local community groups at CB3 this month – not wanting a repeat of the noise, long lines, and trash from Max Fish patronage – helped sink the application for a full liquor license. The proverbial nail in the coffin, though, was that the applicants possessed no experience operating a licensed establishment.

The full board denied the pitch last week.

In the meantime, the entire storefront now sits bare, bereft of any identity. Awaiting the next occupant.

Yet, despite requests for comment, Max Fish did not confirm this news or even mention it on their social media channels until a pre-holiday post last week. Alongside several photos shared to Instagram, the bar noted its current search for a new locale. Which, if fruitful, would be its third in as many decades.

Rimkus, a local artist, founded Max Fish in 1989, and held down 176 Ludlow Street for over two decades. It quickly became a choice watering hole for artists, skaters, and other assorted misfits. A quarter-century later, high property taxes and skyrocketing rents forced the icon from its perch in July 2013. However, it found a new home on Orchard Street (despite previously considering Williamsburg) while its OG space became the Lower East Side outpost of Sweet Chick. The reboot debuted in August 2014.

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