A year ago, I shared the unsettling news that Caffe Dante would be closing--and then reopening--after 99 years on MacDougal Street in Greenwich Village. They did just that, reopening in May with a renovated look. It wasn't the same, but it was still Dante, still run by the Flotta family, Mario Jr. and Mario Sr., who took the place over in 1971.
Now, in the year of its 100th birthday, we hear Caffe Dante will really be closing.
UPDATE: The owner of Caffe Dante says the rumor is a false alarm and "We're going to be here for a while yet." Let's hope that's true.
UPDATE TO THE LAST UPDATE: The rumor was true. They sold and closed.
A reader wrote in that "Caffe Dante is no longer." The owners tried to make it work, to refashion the business and keep up with a doubled rent from their landlord, but in the end they sold the business--likely to a group of Australians.
The new owners reportedly plan to keep the Dante name, "not out of respect
to this great business, but so they can keep the existing licenses."
The tipster says the cafe will be closing in 10 days.
I called Caffe Dante and, while I was unable to reach either of the Marios, I talked to a couple of employees. They, too, have heard that closure is coming soon, maybe in two weeks.
And while there seems to be some uncertainty about the details, it does sound
like this is the end.
So, before Dante is serving Vegemite sandwiches, get your last cappuccinos soon, and say goodbye to an authentic piece of Greenwich Village that's been going strong since 1915.
Dante to Close