Yesterday, EV Grieve noted that the building housing Cafe Colonial on the corner of East Houston and Elizabeth Streets was for lease, and wondered if the uncertain fate of 15-year-old restaurant was in part the result of the recent opening of Pulino’s only a block away. “Is Cafe Colonial then the first victim in the McNallification of the neighborhood?” the blog asked, noting that the building’s listing seemed intended to attract a high-end retailer.
Based on what Cafe Colonial’s owner, Luciane Gilan, told Grub Street later that afternoon, it seems that so-called McNallification may indeed be part of the reason that Gilan isn’t sure she’ll renew her lease when it ends in May: Gilan’s landlord is tripling her rent to $30,000 a month, and Gilan’s heard that his idea is that “‘McNally is opening a place and he wants to bring people over and we might get a high-end boutique.'”
To be fair, Gilan also has other financial woes, including credit card fees and rising Con-Ed bills. Plus, she tells GS, “Everything’s harder. People are more mean. It’s just not fun anymore.” Unless, of course, you’re a landlord who can exploit the success of a nearby restaurant for your own financial gain.