Two years ago I shared the sad news that La Lunchonette would be vanishing. Its owner, Melva Max, rightly blamed the nearby High Line and its rampant luxury development.
“The neighborhood is so gross now,” she said. “It’s all tourists coming for the High Line. People always say, ‘But wasn’t it great for you?’ The High Line has been the cause of my demise.”
The beloved 28-year-old restaurant closed last New Year's Eve. Said Max, "A ten-story building will be erected, another 'starchitect' flexing their creative muscle along the old rail line."
That was the plan. A handful of buildings would be demolished, including a former horse stable built in the 1880s, for a tax-supported luxury condo from SHoP, architects of the Barclays Center.
But now the Real Deal reports that the Lunchonette building just sold for $10.6 million, and is "adjacent to a planned residential building along West 18th Street that SHoP TRData LogoTINY is designing."
So it's not being demolished? In fact, the restaurant's space is being offered for rent. Was it really necessary for La Lunchonette to lose its space? And what will happen to the little horse stable?
photo: Richie Goldstein, via Twitter
Bonus shot! Right outside La Lunchonette, middle-aged guy in CBGB's t-shirt gives the double finger to the Google Maps camera, summing up a collective sentiment:
photo via Google Maps