Nostalgia As Policy in Lower East Manhattan

Mourning Mars Bar and its ilk. Photo: Youngna Park

Grub has been chronicling the depravity of the "Lower Eastpacking District" for half a decade, and now Community Board 3 is meeting today to purportedly do something about the clubification of the EV and LES. There will be talk of creating a "nightlife district," that would restrict larger venues to non-residential locations. (But isn't the whole East Village and Lower East Side basically a nightlife district by now?) Clubs holding more than 200 are already confined by the city to industrial areas, but concern is over bars that take up two whole storefronts they're too big, and what about retail? There's much nostalgia for the EV's low-key hangs and grubby dives, some of which Mars Bar, Lakeside Lounge have been forced to shutter as rents rise. We hate to say it, but this seems like a losing game of table shuffleboard. [WSJ]