There's been a lot of buzz about the new LES hot spot Beauty & Essex recently. I've been inside. Nero never knew such gaudy opulence.
The space is huge. Which should come as no surprise, as the space was for many years a furniture store. M. Katz & Sons Fine Furniture to be specific. Above and below are before and after shots of the exterior. Beauty & Essex retained the shadow of the former letters, as well as the vertical "Katz Furniture" sign. Nothing of the interior remains, aside from some brick walls.
Katz is a family-owned business. It was founded in 1906 by Meilich Katz, beginning on Stanton Street before moving to Essex. In the 1930s, Meilich was joined by his three sons, Irving, Pincus and Joseph. In the late 1960s, Irving's sons Maurice and Arthur entered the firm. It may come as a surprise to some to know that the business still exits. It has relocated to 20 Orchard Street. It's currently run by the fifth generation of Katzes.