Wednesday, May 13, 2015

La Taza de Oro

I've been avoiding this one, because I can't bear to face the possibility that we will lose La Taza de Oro, a warm and lovely Puerto Rican restaurant and last vestige of old Chelsea on 8th Avenue. It's been shuttered for over a month now.

Recently, someone posted a sign to the shutter that says "We Miss You."

Back on April 4, NY1 reported that some bricks fell from the neighboring facade, no one was hurt, but Con Ed turned off the gas in the restaurant's building. Scaffolding went up, one of the metal poles piercing the restaurant's awning.

And then these vacate notices appeared on the door of the building:

#SaveNYC group member Trina Rodriguez checked it out. She wrote in to say:

"I spoke to the owner and they're waiting to sign a contract/get a permit to separate their facade from the building next door--the one causing all the problems. She hopes that when that happens they'll be able to move back in relatively quickly."

Of course, once that happens, they'll need to get Con Ed to turn the gas back on. And we know how hard that can be.

Lately, it seems like the city is waging war on our oldest, most vulnerable, and beloved businesses.

Inspections ramp up. Violations are handed out. Gas goes off. It goes on and on. They shuttered La Taza de Oro last fall, too. Coincidence? With the High Line nearby, Google across the street, and Chelsea being called the new Upper East Side, these are now golden properties that plenty of developers would love to demolish and replace with a glass box and a bank.

See more about La Taza de Oro and its history on Neighborhood Slice. Join #SaveNYC to stop the insanity.


Anonymous said...

I thought the owner of Taza de Oro also owns the building it's in. That's why it's been able to remain open all these years.

Anonymous said...

Such events smack of overblown "pretext," seeming too coincidental. Even the gas explosion in the East Village "feels like" a pretext for ruthless redevelopment, after all the other "faulty" this-or-thats have managed to lubricate redevelopmental makeovers. That many people tend to suspect opportunistic pretext in such cases indicates that there is likely some sort of Makeover-Takeover conspiracy.

Mark said...

In renovating the corner building, the workmen did not reinforce the facade of the adjoining building, causing it to buckle and separate. These buildings are ancient. It's amazing the entire block didn't come crashing down.

Anonymous said...

Jeremiah, you hit the nail on the head when you wrote: "these are now golden properties that plenty of developers would love to demolish and replace with a glass box and a bank."

Have you seen what's going up two doors down from Taza de Oro? Check out the rendering:

Jeremiah Moss said...

Oh wow, Anon, I did not see that rendering. Awful.

Thanks for sharing the link.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Jeremiah. I'm the Anon who posted the rendering link.

I have to add: At least the deli on the corner of 8th Ave and 15th (two doors north of Taza de Oro) has been rebuilt in a similar style as the brick prewar buildings there. I live nearby and fully expected to see a glassy 12-story office building go up when they started construction. (But it turns out that's what's planned for the OTHER deli on the southeast corner of 8th and 14th st.)

Tal Hartsfeld said...

Not to worry.
They'll invariably replace it with an "Asian Bistro/Sports Bar/Espresso Paradise" type place with hipster clientele and staff, and exorbitant prices to match.

Fit in or be excluded.

Richard Federico said...

Hi Jeremiah, I too love your poetic ending remark about the glass box and a bank! So true! What is it about glass and steel?? Oh yeah, Something to do with Superman "able to leap tall buildings in a single bound"! Well, he'll have plenty of tall buildings to leap. I was just thinking about the crumbling facade issue and am also suspect that this is going to become a convenient danger to focus on and pass new legislation. They will make it so expensive for owners to fix to code or buy exorbitant "facade insurance" that they will gladly just sell to big development who will quickly put up the anonymous "glass box". This also got me thinking, are glass boxes free from the dangers of facade collapse? They better hope so, or in a few years we could start to see the legacy of the glass age epidemic. Can you imagine glass plates falling from 40 to 50 stories high and slicing people in half? I'm sorry to be so gory, but it is plausible and I was just wondering the long term prognosis of a glass city. I mean if there is ever another financial crisis like the city saw in the 70's when it was almost bankrupt, many of these buildings will be left abandoned! Who knows what state of disrepair they might fall into after that? I'm probably just over thinking things, the city will never go bankrupt again, history never repeats!

Scout said...

I think that the calls for preservation don't go anywhere near far enough.

Why stop with just keeping things as they are? Why not be bold, and demand that Chelsea be returned to the state of productive and beautiful FARMLAND it was less than 200 years ago, until entrepreneur Benjamin Moore sold it all off into plots for urban development?

Honestly, folks - don't settle for flimsy-wimpy half measures - INSIST upon REAL CONSERVATION.

Anonymous said...

The economic facts are that the real estate values eclipse any value place on the little humble independent business serving normal people. If the business owns the building, it should sell to developers. This is a low rise on an Avenue, development rights are high. If the business has a lease, it will be renewed. End of story.
I lived in the West Village in the 90s as a working class person. By 2000, every neighborhood diner I freequented had closed and I was gone too, to Washington Heights.

laurarubin said...

"makeover taker over" in NY? been going on for years. no surprise. welcome to dubai. sad & no place to eat. i like to "dine" as much as the next person. do you have to live in queens to get a quick bite?

Anonymous said...

Taza de Oro was awesome, but I have to say when I was there in 2010 the food was awful. The coffee, however, was excellent.