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Famed Pink Pony Closes on Ludlow Street

By Ben Fractenberg | February 11, 2013 5:30pm

LOWER EAST SIDE — Another Lower East Side fixture has closed.

Pink Pony, the famed cafe and literary hangout at 176 Ludlow St., shut it doors more than a week ago, Bowery Boogie first reported and local workers and business owners confirmed Monday. 

"Everything around here is closing. They are building a Banana Republic across the street," said Melissa Garcia, 24, who works next-door to the Pink Pony at Daredevil Tattoo. "They're trying to turn it into SoHo. They're sucking the soul out of this place."

The eatery, which opened in the early '90s, joins fellow Ludlow Street stalwart Earth Matters cafe in closing recently and could portend bad news for Max Fish, which subleased the space to Pink Pony. Max Fish was slated to close in January 2011 but got a lease extension from the building's landlord

“The main reason for all of this is...not the business going down; it’s that the neighborhood has changed,” Lucien Bahaj, who has owned the Pink Pony since 2001, told The New York Times. “It’s the ability to carry on when the original clientele has moved elsewhere.”

The building's landlord reportedly raised the Pink Pony's rent from $14,000 a month to $20,000.

Rock 'n' roll bar Motor City, located nearby on Ludlow Street, is also possibly set to close, EV Grieve reported Monday.