Sons of Essex’s Matt Levine Talks About His New, Yet-To-Open Mysterious Space At 205 Chrystie St.

With The Elsinore poised to open up in just a week or so, things on that very strange block Stanton between Bowery and Chrystie are taking yet another step in a new direction. Because it effectively dead-ends on both sides, traffic is very restricted, which has made it a home for those less fortunate who have gathered near the Bowery Mission for eons. The New Museum and a string of art galleries, boutiques, and little restaurants have given a new look to the area. The streets are still a bit dark and the well-heeled walk fast, past the shoeless, as new development gears to bring even more change. Matt Levine and his posse have taken the 205 Chrystie space which has, like much of the people hanging around it these days, …never amounted to anything. There was a run with rock promo icons like Vegas that offered a handful of fun nights. It was a kind of cool dive bar called 6’s and 8’s. There was even a foray by the usually perfect Serge Becker of Miss Lily’s and

La Esquina fame. At 205, he was a little less than perfect. Matt Levine is hot with his Sons of Essex, a smash success. I asked him to tell me what he could tell me at this very early stage. He couldn’t say much as the process of opening is long and rife with obstacles.
 
The block dead-ends on both sides, a very unique situation which traditionally made it very…wonkie. Now there are cool boutiques and The Elsinore about to open, The Box is still wonderfully fun around the corner, and the park across Chrystie is beautiful. So you feel it’s a good time to get in?
My partner Michael Shah has a great eye for real estate, and this block, being a passageway from the Lower East Side to Soho, has always intrigued me.
 
You have been wildly successful at Sons of Essex and you had a great run at The Eldridge. You love the neighborhood. Talk about where it is heading…
We are always randomly bumping into each other on the streets of the LES; the Lower East Side is a true neighborhood in every sense of the word, a community within a community. I see the growth of the LES, beyond "nightlife;" daily foot traffic is increasing during the daytime due to the growth of art galleries, boutiques, cafes, coffee shops, and creative agencies- we all support each others’ entrepenurial spirits.
 
What else fills your days?
Everyday, a new lesson learned.

Loopy Doopy Bar Is Not a Goldman Conspiracy

The Loopy Doopy Rooftop Bar at the Conrad New York hotel might fit neatly into the general conglomerate of Manhattan rooftop bars, but for one fun fact: the building is owned by Goldman Sachs. As part of what’s been dubbed “Goldman Alley,” Loopy Doopy—named for the Sol DeWitt piece in the hotel’s lobby—goes along with the Shake Shack, Vintry Wine & Whiskey, and Salvatore Anzalone’s barbershop to form Battery Park City’s new all-inclusive comfort zone for the 8,000 Goldman employees that come and go about the company’s main tower.

“On a Tuesday night, usually, you can’t move it’s so packed,” the bartender tells me, pouring a Maker’s and soda right before closing up—at 8:15 pm—because of high winds.

“And it’s all people from this company?”

“Goldman? Well, they own the building, so they probably encourage them to come here, I don’t know.”

“And they’re cool?”

He shrugs, swapping through facial expressions until he finds one that fits. “Yeah—I mean—yeah.”

This Tuesday, it’s a mellow scene. It’s Goldman people, but even better—Goldman interns. Skinny boys in blue and pink dress shirts huddle around like asparagus, not quite certain how to hold a drink in their hand. Twentysomething girls in pretty dresses sit at the bar, looking slightly disappointed that every other male there is still a child (myself included. Though I did carry the briefcase my mom bought me that I’ve never used). 

My old friend, whom we’ll call Wes, meets me at the bar so I feel like I have some reason to be there. He happens to be an advisor (or something) at JP Morgan, and I happen to be interested in figuring out what the hell Libor means.

I won’t bother to quote, because it’s super convoluted, but the important part is, Barclays took over Lehman Brothers after the financial collapse. And now that this interest rate-fixing scandal has come to light, everyone at Barclays except the chairman, Marcus Agius, is getting in trouble. Why hasn’t Agius gotten in trouble? Because he married a Rothschild. And the Rothschilds somehow have a stake in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which they intend to maintain, in order to control the cost of money and the value of everything they hold.

If that sounds weird, or Ron Paul-ish, the answer is yes, you’re welcome. What else is a little weird is that this massive investment bank owns a hotel and a couple restaurants and a gym and a barbershop, and their employees are “encouraged” to patronize them and stay within a one-block radius of the office for anything they’d need. I’m not saying there’s a definite conspiracy theory to be hatched, but for such a massive company that relies on manufactured financial products and manipulated interest rates (even if indirectly), it’s sort of weird that they intend to keep their sheep so close to the shepherd, especially since New York is a fine enough pasture from tip to tip. And what I also know, from watching enough Hitchcock movies, is that if something strange and menacing has to go down, it usually happens on a rooftop. Cheers.