Reader Kevin Dougherty writes in with the news that, after over 30 years in business, the Lafayette Bakery on Greenwich Avenue has closed. "Sadly, it does not come as a surprise to me. I do not think he was doing that well in the business. The store is totally empty. Not a thing appears to be left. Sad."
He shares this photo of the empty shop window:
photo: Kevin Dougherty
In June, the owner of the bakery wrote on Lafayette's Facebook page: "we must leave this location due to a letter of eviction. donations are being accepted. i need 40000!" A week later, he said, "good news- got an order to show cause extending our life til july 9, 2012."
And that was all he wrote.
In July, Robert Sietsema reported that the marshals had seized the place. As to history, he wrote, "Lafayette had been at this Greenwich Avenue location for at least 15 years, and had previously existed for at least 15 years near the corner of Bleecker and Seventh Avenue South. Though it had pretenses of being a French bakery, the owners were Greek."
Maybe business started going downhill in 2009 when the baker made the ugly mistake of making and marketing "Drunken Negro Cookies" in response to Obama's election. The Black Panthers protested, chanting, "Ray-cist Lah-fay-ette! Brick by brick, wall by wall--we’ll stay out here and make you fall!"
Lafayette didn't fall then, but a flood of bad reviews on Yelp didn't help. And the closure of St. Vincent's put a lot of locals out of business along this stretch of Greenwich.
I last went into the bakery in May. I bought some lace cookies and talked to the baker about all his neighbors who'd been put out of business due to rising rents and the loss of the hospital. He told me he was doing okay.
The cookies weren't great and I didn't eat them, but I always liked walking by that bakery. It looked like it had been there forever. And you don't often see the word LOGS spelled out in neon.
As Sietsema put it, "as a vestige of the old West Village with all its French and beatnik pretensions, it will be missed, a place worth looking in the window of from time to time, but almost never entered."