Monday, April 22, 2019

Trattoria Spaghetto


About a month ago, Trattoria Spaghetto on Carmine and Bleecker abruptly shuttered. It was a good place.

In 2015, I worried about them. They told me they had 15 more years on their lease. I guess not.

As I wrote at the time, "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."

I was worried about the restaurant because its building was purchased by Force Capital Management, a Park Avenue hedge-fund that bought the building in 2012. They put out Avignone Chemist, in business since 1832, replacing it with a sweetgreen, one of the salad chains that follows the discriminatory practice of not taking cash. (At the time, DNA reported that Force wanted $60,000 a month for the space.)

What's coming to Spaghetto's spot? A tipster points us to a document that says it will be Dig Inn, another chain that's all about green things. Except cash. Like sweetgreen, they're (mostly) cashless.

New York is currently considering a move to ban cashlessness. Councilmember Ritchie Torres introduced the legislation in February and it is supported by Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. Cashless businesses are discriminatory, shutting out the poor. Of course, that's exactly what the New New York aims to do, building by building, business by business.


Chris said...

It's an obvious joke, but was the Queen song they were playing "Another One Bites the Dust"?

But I hope the same won't be true of your blog.

Pat said...

I used to go there a lot in the 70's when they had a lunch counter where you could sit. Their minestrone soup was unbelievable. That, with some grated parmigiano and a slice of bread with butter, was lunch. There were two guys who worked there I think later on were the managers. Sorry to hear they are gone.

StuartFeil said...

Of course, Trattoria Spaghetto was Bleeker Luncheonette (once upon a time)--a place for a bowl of green minestrone and a hunk of Italian bread for a hearty lunch at a decent price. That was something that wasn't repeatable and that you could nicely go out of your way for. And while I understand the appeal of a grain bowl and a salad, all I can say is "enough already" of VC-backed food chains that bring nothing to the neighborhood.

RMAN said...

Lived in the Village a block away from Trattoria Spaghetto my entire life, never had the chance to eat there because if I wanted home style Italian food I'd see my grandmother. Friends from out of town always bragged about this place, but the few times I attempted to visit it was always closed. Trattoria had odd hours of operation, not in sync with my life, so unfortunately I never made it there.

I am very sorry to read about its demise, it's been part of the Village background for decades and people loved it. Don't know why greed is so rampant in this city, it's disgusting and repulsive.

Kyle Campion said...

God, a Dig Inn is going there? What a joke. Obviously, the Village has been dead for some time now, but 6th Avenue is a parade of tragedies - for blocks, it's literally 50% drug stores, banks, and empty storefronts. That Barnes and Noble space has been vacant for at least 7 years. It's simply a disgrace.

Luna19 said...

Jeremiah - love your posts! Do you remember a burger place near NYU that was around in the late 90s? It might have been on Waverly? Cavernous with great column ... delish burgers and amazing waffle fries. I think it was transformed into an NYU tech center? Thanks!

Unknown said...

This is so sad. I just updated my husband, showing him my phone photo of the work order from 04-02-19, from yesterday when i passed the storefront. Not sure if the floors were tiled with those quarter-sized white tiles or was it a wooden floor?. The little anteroom where customers waited for a table was a little square 4' x 4' at the right angle of this corner establishment. "Oh, shit," he said. "That sucks," expressing what i think we all feel - longing for something gone, which now accentuates why it was loved. The tables close to each other, the servers - male, mostly in their 50s and 60s; the food served very hot and simple and delicious (the spinach with garlic!! The lasagne!! The glass of chianti. So sad.

Unknown said...

We loved that place! Went there for 35 years, always a dinner when we were in the city. From the fabulous bread to the wonderful Escarole that was a rare find in NYC or any Italian restaurant. The veal parmigiana with capellini bolo sauces we loved it! Always a great feast. Rene was the best, always took great care of us like kings. This is terrible sad news, end of a WONDERFUL era of the best Trattoria in town.

Ashley Collie said...

A New Yorker pal of mine sent me a photo of shuttered windows, today, so sad. Started going there on my first visit to NYC in 1981 when it was just that two-man operation, soup and bread. Then continued going to only have one particular dish, pesto linguine, the best I've ever tasted, anywhere. Was there my last time in NYC, two years ago. Will be missed. The face of New York sure is changing. I still live in a bungalow courtyard complex built in 1920s in Los Feliz, LA. We're still hanging in. Thanks for this story. Cheers/Ashley Collie