Cafe Colonial May Close in Part Because of McNally-Inspired Rent Hike


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.