When Max Fish opened on Ludlow Street in 1989, neighbors were made up of mostly what for decades the Lower East Side had been known for ,a neighborhood of small local stores and deli’s that catered to the mainly eastern European Jewish Orthodox community.The colorful dive bar, was one of the first gin mills to pioneer the Lower East Side, which has since transformed into a play ground for hipsters of every stripe .Both Max Fish and its neighbor, the Pink Pony restaurant, became popular ’90s hangouts for downtown personalities like Johnny Depp, Courtney Love, the late artist Dash Snow and film director Jim Jarmusch.
As the neighborhood became gentrified and more mainstream and stores like Steve Madden and the posh Rivington Hotel ungraded the neighborhood from the artsy quarter to the ultra hip , Max Fish and Pink Pony still remained popular.
Known as icons for what turned the Lower East Side into a mecca for the underground hip and changed .The two pioneers changed the Lower East Side into the now far cooler LES. Last week, the two Ludlow Street colonizers announced they will shutter Jan. 30 do to steep rent increase. Also nearby,pioneer Mars Bar, at First Street and Second Avenue in the East Village, is set to close as plans to redevelop the site into a mixed-income condo project.
According to author Richard Price, “The Lower East Side felt like it was over a while ago, but [Max Fish] is a very symbolic closing,” , who used the neighborhood as a backdrop to his best seller “Lush Life.”
Artist Aaron Rose, former owner of Ludlow Street’s Alleged Gallery. “Every young artist in New York has had a few drinks there. Every band on tour ended up there. It’s the death of a certain era of Manhattan.”
Its a cycle that happens over and over again in the city, neighborhoods come and go the only thing constant is the state of change. leaving the denizens of style to find another forgotten ,unexplored neighborhood to add to their street credit.