The Lower East Side-to-Brooklyn back and forth seems to have been picking up steam lately; just offhand, there’s The Living Room, Welcome to the Johnsons’ improbably good Bushwick branch, and the whole phenomenon of businesses supposedly leaving Bushwick for cheaper rents in one of Manhattan’s most wildly overpriced neighborhoods. Yesterday brought a (hilarious) new development to add to the pile, with news that longtime LES staple Lit Lounge (which just celebrated its 12 year anniversary) would be opening a branch in the McKibbin Lofts, of all places. We also learned that after all that talk of moving to Metropolitan Ave., Max Fish might just stay in Manhattan after all.
According to BlackBook, Lit’s original location will stay open when the McKibbin location gets off the ground (owners include Erik Foss, David Schwartz, and Trash Bar’s Aaron Pierce), and Foss had this to say about their plans:
“There is a cafe element and it’s a store front that’s called Currant Caffee, The Caffee will serve food as in it’s actually a small restaurant. The food will be amazing. My long term bartender Ryan Pico will be the chef. That will open on my birthday which is March 16th, The club which is in the basement and has a separate entrance will be a slow buildout as we are working with a raw basement. We speculate to open the bar space around September. The bar will look different from the Manhattan space but will have familiar bar staff. The rest will be a surprise and there will be a couple of those but we plan on keeping our vibe and traditionally that means fun.”
Well, opening a bar in a building with a captive audience isn’t exactly a dumb idea. As for Max Fish, brokers at their supposed new location at 132 Metropolitan Ave. won’t say if the space is still available or not, but Bedford + Bowery spoke with a gallery owner who told them, “I know [Max Fish’s] owner was at one time considering Brooklyn, but she’s starting to look in the Lower East Side again.” The bar’s owner Ulli Rimkus confirmed that “it’s complicated” but that she is now looking for new spaces closer to the old one. Meanwhile, Williamsburg’s Sweet Chick is moving full steam ahead with their plans to open in the bar’s former space on Ludlow. Dunno if we can draw any real conclusions about What It All Means, but y’know, easy come, easy go.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.