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First Look Inside Max Fish's New Bar, Opening This Weekend

By Lisha Arino | July 30, 2014 10:36am | Updated on August 1, 2014 5:49pm
 Images from the yet-to-be-completed interior of the new Max Fish location on Orchard Street.
Max Fish's New Orchard Street Location
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LOWER EAST SIDE — The new Max Fish is opening its doors this weekend, just a couple blocks from its original spot on Ludlow Street, which closed last year after a rent hike.

The Lower East Side bar is relaunching Saturday afternoon at 120 Orchard St., with a few relics from the old location to make regulars feel at home,including a cigarette-shaped light that glowed over the Ludlow Street entrance, as well as "Bobby," a sculpture of a sweeping woman that will be displayed in the front window, said owner Ulli Rimkus.

“People will see a bunch of the same things they saw on Ludlow Street. They just have to come and look for it,” said Rimkus, who lives on the Lower East Side. The bar’s old pool table will also return after a back wall is knocked down, she said.

But Rimkus said she also plans to make space to show work by new artists.

“I don’t want it to be a Max Fish museum,” she said.

Saturday will be a "half-opening" for Max Fish, since only the ground floor will be ready, while the basement level will open in the fall.

The food menu also isn't ready yet, so for now the bar will provide takeout menus and allow customers to bring their own food.

The original Max Fish opened at 178 Ludlow St. in 1989 and attracted neighborhood residents, artists and even a few celebrities including Johnny Depp and Ethan Hawke, before it shut its doors last summer. Rimkus had planned to relocate the bar to Williamsburg, but that didn’t pan out, she said.

In April, she discovered the Orchard Street storefront, which used to house Gallery Bar.

“It’s nice,” Rimkus said of the new Max Fish. “It feels like I’m starting out again.”

Rimkus said she has enjoyed building a community around the bar, and she looks forward to continuing the tradition.

“We’ve seen many people grow up with us, and then another generation came in,” she said. “It’s great.”

Max Fish will be open from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. every day starting Aug. 2.