Two weeks after he announced that his eponymous butcher counter in the Essex Street Market was imperiled by a rent hike and a drop in sales, Jeffrey Ruhalter has temporarily closed the 70-year-old business.
Ruhalter sent out a statement to The Lo-Down on Sunday that made it clear that, despite his troubles, his landlords, the NYC Economic Development Corporation, do want to work something out with him:
In response to the [earlier] press release EDC requested a meeting with me. I expected to meet with their representative and expected to hear, “pay rent or get out”. Instead, when I arrived to the meeting, I was met with the top four executives of EDC. C’mon, really, I’m just a butcher, I don’t deserve this attention… Only after an hours long meeting did they bring up the issue of rent. I found myself meeting with the community, not my landlord. All they wanted to do was to find ways to help me. They represented you, the community, and they played their roll in helping me as your representative of the community. I was astounded at their position. I’m a black and white guy, if I can’t pay rent, I have to get out. Instead, they gave me options to survive.
While Ruhalter further stated that he and the EDC “worked out a plan to keep my rent the same,” he’s been forced to close the store temporarily to work out some other “financial considerations.” Hopefully it’s not a “temporary closure” of the Chris Cannon kind.
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