A ghost sign for a family business on Essex Street

Back in 2010, a lounge and restaurant called Beauty & Essex opened in a cavernous space at 146 Essex Street—a glittery addition to Lower East Side nightlife back when the neighborhood still had a grittier edge.

Beauty & Essex is temporarily closed, according to Yelp. But there’s another reason to do a walk-by at this address: to see the faded ghost sign that still remains on the facade decades after it went up in the 1960s.

This spot used to be the home base of M. Katz & Sons Fine Furniture—a business founded in 1906 out of a Lower East Side tenement by Meilich Katz, according to the store website. In the 1930s, M. Katz’s sons opened a shop on Stanton Street, and by the late 1960s, a third generation relocated to 146 Essex Street (below, an undated photo of the Essex Street sign).

M. Katz’s still sells furniture; a fifth generation of the Katz family occupies a smaller space on Orchard Street these days. The facade on Essex Street is a palimpsest of a century-old family business still bearing the founder’s name.

[Second photo: Yellowbot]

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5 Responses to “A ghost sign for a family business on Essex Street”

  1. Larry Gertner Says:

    Back in the 70s, a friend of a friend sent us there to buy furniture for our apartment. There was no showroom – we we ushered into an office and selected everything from catalogues.

  2. velovixen Says:

    During the pandemic, I’ve been seeing more and more “ghost signs” as businesses close and more modern signs and awnings are removed.

  3. James W Says:

    Palimpsest 😍swoon

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