Jefe's House

La Esquina Gets Vacate Order

by on May.10, 2010, under NYC, The Press

serge becker

La Esquina’s fake owner Serge Becker, repped by publicist Nadine Johnson, spent years fronting for real owners James Gersten and Derek Sanders.

The beleagured La Esquina shuttered yet again.  Shocking.

“Serge Becker’s La Esquina was inspected last Friday because of a recent complaint that the kitchen exhaust was venting into a residential window. When the inspector showed up, the cellar restaurant was found to have combustible wood ceilings and inadequate egress for its customers. Three days later, today actually, La Esquina was slapped with the vacate order. A tipster with a reservation in the near future just received a call from the restaurant, which told her that all reservations have been canceled due to ‘uncontrollable circumstances.’”  Read the full article at

UPDATE:  Two months later it would emerge that Serge Becker is not and never was the owner of La Esquina. He was protecting the real owners, a pair of standup guys named James Gersten and Derek Sanders, so they are the real culprits here. Even the city’s Department of Buildings had been duped at the time. Gersten and Sanders also aided and abetted Becker in duping convicted international drug smuggler Cordell Lochin into thinking he was a co-owner.  The lack of exits at this establishment is just the tip of the iceberg. Gersten and Sanders also used Becker and Lochin to dodge multiple allegations of rape, threats of rape, and assault and battery at La Esquina and dodged letters served on them by at least one complainant’s (that would be me) lawyer.   I’m just glad they’re having fun and building dream homes with their beautiful wives and children.

James Gersten with his interior decorator wife Analisse Taft. Photo via

Derek Sanders with his wife, Calvin Klein Collection president Michelle Kessler-Sanders. Photo via


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