Serge Becker's nightlife portfolio includes the perennially hip Joe's Pub, the now-closed Area, and the snooch-magnet Bowery Bar. Recently his properties have expanded to include virtually all of the Lower East Side hotspots: Club 205, La Esquina and the Box. The last week has been a tough one for Serge. The Box was raided and shut down (temporarily, we hear) and now word comes in that La Esquina too was raided and closed, due to its complete and utter illegality! As the Post noted, the Box raid occasioned an exodus of celebrities onto the asphalt jungle of Chrystie street. It could have gone worse. The fuzz could have found the mountains of cocaine that went into the eightballs that reportedly are included with table service. And all agree that the raid on La Esquina—it lacked a certificate of occupancy—was inevitable. But two's a trend, and it makes us suspicious. What—or who—is behind Becker's troubles?

According to one nightlife expert, the timing is suspicious, and maybe someone has a motive.

There's another irony in all of this!

Los Dados is a new Mexican restaurant opening this week in the Meatpacking and it is owned by the owners of Double 7 and Lotus.....

Is someone trying to "take out" their competition?

Mmm, could be? Or, you know, maybe houses of ill repute sometimes get raided. Until we get more definitive proof, we're just gonna blame Bloomberg. Or maybe the Jews.

[Photo: Heronpreston flickr]