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Meatpacking Biker Bar Hogs and Heifers Closing Due To Rent Hike, Owner Says

By Danielle Tcholakian | July 22, 2015 11:44am | Updated on July 24, 2015 5:35pm
 Hogs & Heifers in the Meatpacking District is closing for good in August.
Hogs & Heifers in the Meatpacking District is closing for good in August.
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DNAinfo/Danielle Tcholakian

MEATPACKING DISTRICT — Legendary Meatpacking District biker bar Hogs and Heifers is closing for good in August, according to the bar's longtime owner.

Owner Michelle Dell said she's closing up her business — decorated inside with dozens of bras, and plastered with police, fire department and union stickers — after more than 20 years on Washington Street because her landlord wants to increase her rent to $60,000.

"That is just not tenable for a business like Hogs and Heifers," Dell told DNAinfo on Tuesday. "I sell Pabst Blue Ribbon for $3. I still sell beer for $5 or $6. I am not a business that can sell a bottle of beer for $12 and margaritas for $15."

Dell did not say what her current rent is.

The landlord of 859 Washington St. is a joint venture by Thor Equities and ASB Real Estate Investments, which purchased the property in 2012 along with several other buildings in the neighborhood, to the point that they owned several blocks.

The Thor Equities realtor leasing the space — advertised as "prime retail space" in a neighborhood that has transformed from a gritty industrial enclave to a mecca for high-end boutiques — did not respond to emails, voicemails, or texts requesting comment.

Dell said rent hikes don't take into account the many other costs involved in running a business, from insurance and worker's compensation to "padding for the brutally slow winters the past three years."

The bar was started by Dell's husband in 1992, and they owned it together until his death in 1997. Dell is now the sole owner of the New York City location as well as a Las Vegas outpost.