Less than a year after mounting a successful online campaign to stay in business, the Lower East Side rock staple Cake Shop is under new ownership.
The young development and management firm Four Winds Real Estate late last month purchased for $19.1 million two multi-family buildings in prime LES territory: 152 Ludlow Street and 149-151 Essex Street. Cake Shop, which in addition to rock shows features a cafe and record store, is a ground floor tenant of the five-story 152 Ludlow Street.
On its Pledgemusic.com fundraiser bio, the venue cited a “new Real Estate Tax to landlord, added security costs and changes to the forms of ID we are allowed to accept” as reasons for its financial distress. The eight-year old multitasker surpassed its fundraising goal last July with the help of benefit concerts by indie darlings Surfer Blood, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Ava Luna.
It’s unclear what effect, if any, new ownership might have on the scrappy rock dive. Neither Four Winds nor Cake Shop immediately replied to an email and phone call requesting comment. Last week, The Lo-Down reported that the team behind the stylish Noho restaurant Acme had applied for a liquor license at 151 Essex Street, which formerly housed the decidedly unchic Laugh Lounge. And other recent changes on Ludlow Street–the modest Pink Pony bistro is gone, the metalhead-friendly Motor City Bar will shutter in June and the Living Room rock club is out in August–are indicative of its increasingly glossy face.