Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Save Pino's Prime Meats

After just losing Joe's Dairy, we began to worry about Pino's Prime Meats across Sullivan street. Now we have good reason for that worry. Reports came in from readers saying that Pino's is in jeopardy.

[Click here to SIGN THE PETITION to save Pino's]


photo: Tim Schreier

I talked to Sal Cinquemani, son of Pino, who told me they received "a letter from out of the blue," telling them that their lease, which goes to 2017, will end abruptly this month, and they need to be out. The letter claims that Pino's has "created and sustained an active nuisance in front of the building," causing tenants to make complaints.

Sal is unaware of any complaints. The letter goes on to say that the shop is blocking the sidewalk with crates and boxes, and is "not respecting the rights of the residents and...co-tenants in the commercial space." The co-tenants here are the neighboring restaurant Pepe Rosso To Go and the West Lake Laundromat.

"The landlord is trying to get us out," Sal told me. "And we need people's support."


photo of Pino: Tim Schreier

He is baffled as to why this is happening. "I think we're being attacked here," he said. "My dad's sick over it. He's been here 30 years. His uncle was here another 40 before that. We're a butcher shop. We cut meat, we have sawdust that's been grandfathered in and we don't even put it down anymore. I take my trash out to Queens. I sweep like five times a day. And we respect our neighbors--we hold keys for people, we hold packages. You've got to be kidding me."

Pino's has hired a lawyer to help them fight this, and the case is going to court this week, but it's expensive and distressing. You can help. The easiest way is to please sign the petition to Save Pino's.


Pino's 200-year-old pistone

There's been a butcher shop in this space for over a century. Jackie Onassis got all her steaks from Pino's. Says New York Magazine, "Pino's Prime Meats is one of a scant handful of survivors, hard evidence of the old-world-Italian culture that once made Sullivan Street destination shopping for those who wanted to mangia bene. No logos or slick storefronts here... It’s an entirely different experience than the shrink-wrapped anonymity of your local Food Emporium."

Watch the butchers in action (Warning NSFV--Not Safe for Vegans):


Butcher from Cyrus Dowlatshahi on Vimeo.

20 comments:

Barbara L. Hanson said...

Done and shared. I hope the petition helps...but rapacious landlords are rarely moved.

The Devil Michael said...

done.

Anonymous said...

I grew up and continue to live just 3 blocks from Pino's. When I discovered a week ago that Joe's Dairy had closed, I was gutted. I have piece by piece seen this neighborhood be dismantled and am deeply unhappy about this latest development. I signed the petition and will spread the word. Sadly, I am in a situation with a landlord trying to evict me and these guys have endless amounts of money to wear down tenants. Community means nothing when there's money to be had.

Goggla said...

I've walked by Pino's twice a day for 8 years and have never encountered any sidewalk obstructions. These guys are all so nice, it would be terrible to lose another longstanding business.

Anonymous said...

The landlord is Sullivan Tenant Corp. The CEO of Sullivan Tenant is a musician cum real estate dabbler named Jack Bashkow. (He's a reed player who appears on David Byrne's most recent album.) Here's the Division of Corporation's info on Sullivan Tenant Corp:

http://bit.ly/13Z0j08

Anonymous said...

i imagine it has been thought of already but i will sugest it.someone from the butcher shop could ask the other tennents and see if they indeed had any problems and if the other tennents don`t confront the landlords with that then.

Anonymous said...

It sounds so clichéd, but you walk down this pleasant street and Pino’s is a place of very real and genuine CHARM.

I need to ask: why are people paying so much money to live here? The people who pay so much to live here, who are buying the new condos…where do they get their meat? Where is the value?

And Pino’s DOES something…butchers add value, they have a real skill, they sell things people need.

Why do people continue to move here en masse and pay as much as they do to live in Manhattan? One day, there will be reason to visit “the city”…it will simply be a series of condos/apartment blocks, some restaurants, and chain-stores I can find anywhere.

Karen Romeo said...

The famous Romeo family New Year's Eve & Thanksgiving dinners cannot continue without Pino's! No Pino no SoHo for me! Pino was there before it was SoHo--remember? please NYC: SAVE PINO! We LOVE Pino.

Karen Romeo said...

The Romeo Family dinners & parties will never be the same without Pino. They were here before it was SoHo--remember? And it won't be SoHo without Pino's!

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that the old neighborhood people are in support of Pino and know the charges are bogus. I've lived here since I was 8 years old and Joe's and Pino's were always great and very responsible local places.

Have signed the petition and passed it on.

Hope we can save him!

Anonymous said...

Pino's is obstructing the right of the landlord to make lots more money. That's the problem. Rich people have to get their way or else. The Pinos of New York City have to go.

Brian Dubé said...

Sad. First Joe's and now this. Everyone in his family is a butcher - it runs in his blood. These skilled professionals with quite a tradition are disappearing - fast.

brendan said...

I live down the block from Pino's. My family owns and lives on this block--my granddaughter now living in my house is the fourth generation of my family to live on this block.
there has NEVER, let me repeat that, NEVER been any obstruction at Pino's or nuisance to the neighbors. I am a neighbor and i love this place and its people.
what a load of crap this Bashkow is handing out. So infuriating. this is obviously trumped-up nonsense to break the lease. can not a court rule that this stuff is simply fallacious? does truth count? character? ANYthing other than money?

Marie said...

Food Landmarks.

We need them.

Anonymous said...

Just so everyone stops crying, Joe's Dairy was NOT shut down. Joe was given a pretty hefty pay out by the notorious Trump family. Apparently they have bought the building and going for more.
As for Pino, it is sad to see them go, but that seems to be the landscape of the new NYC, Gap, Duane Reade, Starbucks and so on...totally soulless.

David Chester said...

It would, indeed, be a tragedy if this invaluable resource and South Village institution were taken away from us. Please do not let greed override common sense. The care and expertise they put into the preparation and service of their fine meats is something that the neighborhood has come to treasure and depend on. The bacon-wrapped filet mignons, seasoned with hand rubbed fresh garlic, peppercorns and love, the duck breast so fresh it quacks! Don't mess with success! I urge everyone who cares to sign the petition as I did. We love you Pino's!!!

Anonymous said...

As a tenant of the neighboring building, I empathize with Pino's frustration as a long standing business, 30 years, on the block.
But...
I invite you to take a walk by the butcher shop, day or night, through the pools of blood, meat pieces and skins scattered all over the pavement. Smelling the odor of corpses from their truck on the hot summer days, which reach the highest stories in the building, unrecognizable insect infestation in my apartment, and the disturbing sights of blood streaming into the gutters, disturb my otherwise peaceful Sullivan street.
I know that over the years, many of us neighbors tried to bring this to Pino's attention, and although he IS a great guy, the shop has remained a filthy eyesore.
If this still doesn't touch home with you guys, you can come down to Sullivan street, and help by scrubbing away blood and sawdust from our contaminated sidewalks and curbs.

Anonymous said...

I was so worried about Pino's fate. I am beyond words, that's how disgusted I am about what's happened to all the great family businesses that have closed. I grew up on Sullivan St. and moved a whopping 3 blocks away. I remember my mother buying her meat at Pino's . . . this is just much too sad. The village continues to lose its charm and will be nothing but a revolving doors of coffee shops and cafes. Criminal . . .

Rose Levy Beranbaum said...

i have been shopping at pino's for almost 50 years. it is unimaginable to me that anyone would not want to cherish this landmark place and wonderful family. i'm the person who is pictured on the wall next to the pig and above christ and sometimes visa versa! as a cookbook writer i have valued pino's wonderful products. and i've enjoyed over the years watching his sons grow up and join the business. bravi cinquemani and i pray that sanity and sense of values prevail.

Anonymous said...

I signed the petition and then read your reader comments. I hope that Pino's will modify their work habits and make improvements so that building tenants do not have to smell and see rotting blood and meat and whatever else the business business brings to the street; as a building tenant/ Commenter described. Teh commenter's description of building conditions is not nice and if I lived in that building I would prefer to have them out if I had to deal with described on a on a daily basis. It is easy to be a customer and put up with street noise and mess etc, without realizing how difficult it is when small (and big) businesses do not keep business within the confines of the store. So Pino's...do better by your neighbors with better work/shopkeeping habits!