Last month I broke the upsetting news that Caffe Dante would be closing after a century in business. Management vehemently denied the information, saying, "Whoever started this rumor is a lunatic."
But this morning I received a confirmation from my original tipster: "Caffe dante closed. It has new owners. Australians... I guess that's that."
photo via Gothamist
Gothamist got down there and came back with photographic evidence of the closure.
Reader Daniel Bellino Zwicke writes with emotion about the final hours on his blog, Greenwich Village Italian:
"It’s 11:55 PM Sunday March 22, 2015 … I just left Caffe Dante for the last time under the ownership of Mr. Mario Flotta .. I had to hold back a few tears saying goodbye to Mario and his two sons."
He adds: "Mario sold the place to Victoria Coffee of Australia. He told me, it’s still going to be a caffe, and it’s still going to be called Caffe Dante."
I assume that's Vittoria Food & Beverage, begun in Australia in 1958. Well, they're old and they're Italian, but they're not New York. Worse, they provide what they call One Stop Shop: "for anyone looking to create an authentic Italian image for their cafe, restaurant or deli...to help you create an authentic Italian feel for your outlet."
Dante didn't have an "image" or a "feel," it was the real thing. And that's vanishing more and more every day. #SaveNYC.
*UPDATE: According to DNAInfo, the place is being taken over by an upscale "small plates" company, not Vittoria Food & Beverage, and it will be "modeled after a classic European-inspired neighborhood eatery." Again "modeled" and "inspired." Not real in any way.