A reader wrote in to let us know that the Campanile restaurant on E. 29th Street has closed. It's been awhile. Eater shared the news a year ago--and I missed it. They wrote:
"Northern Italian eatery Campanile has closed after 18 years of business. According to the restaurant's Facebook, the building was sold and the landlord wants to turn it into a high rise."
The building that housed Campanile at 30 E. 29th was originally the very old New York Telephone Building. I can't locate any plans for a high rise here, but something's happening along this block.
One building away, neighbor Stampworx is also gone. They'd been around since 1946. Probably as long as Campanile's pink neon sign's been hanging there, the remnant of another restaurant.
Stampworx was located in a wooden house owned in the 1800s by the Pringle family. It has a lovely second-floor facade and an interesting history.
Life used to take me to this block somewhat regularly. I liked
standing outside and looking up at the twin vertical signs of RUBBER STAMPS
and RESTAURANT. That sliver felt like part of an older city.
One night, I saw a man in the doorway of the building between the two.
He was behind the glass, playing a flute. The Campanile's neon sign
shone pink, making the night air blush.
I meant to write about it, but never did. I took a photo, but that's lost somewhere in the clutter of my photo archive. Still, I remember it well. It was one of those little New York scenes that only happen in old buildings.
Campanile's gone. The rubber stamps shop is gone. And the man who played the flute is probably gone, too. I don't know what will come to replace them all, but we can guess.