When I heard about the eviction of Avignone Chemist--on Bleecker since 1929 and in business even longer--I went by to talk to the owner.
He told me that Force Capital Management, a hedge fund that manages $1.2 billion, not only bought his little building, they also bought the big building on the corner. Now they have the block.
Using the LLC 228 Bleecker Street Realty, Force Capital Management paid $18,700,000 for the corner building in 2012. Why? Don't tell me this old beauty can be torn down and replaced with a glass box.
And what about Trattoria Spaghetto on the ground floor? I asked--they told me they've got 15 more years on their lease.
By the way, Trattoria Spaghetto is a good place for lunch in the off hours, on a weekday. It's quiet. There's an old woman who sits by the door in a turban. She knows everyone and everyone knows her. She laughs and talks about the weather. Over the speakers, the music is Queen, nothing but Queen.
Trattoria Spaghetto opened sometime in the early 1990s or late 1980s. I'm not sure. Before that, it was the Bleecker Luncheonette, a beloved Italian soup counter that made a famous green minestrone. Some still don't forgive the Trattoria for "killing its old world charm."
So it goes.