Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Today, Grieve notes a real estate listing that appears to be the death of the great DeRobertis Pasticceria on First Avenue in the East Village.

When I asked the co-owner a few months ago if they were closing, he said "absolutely not." But who knows? We thought Manganaro's would stay when they sold their building and that did not happen. In these uncertain situations, it's best to go and enjoy the place while you can. DeRobertis is a treasure and it will be a tragedy if and when they vanish.

From an interview I did with the owner, Annie, back in 2007:

“People come in and tell me I don’t know how to make cappuccino," Annie said, incredulous. (She's only been making the beverage for 50 years.) "They tell me, 'Starbucks makes it this way.' I tell them, 'I’m here before Starbucks.' They want flavors. I tell them, 'I got flavors. You want a flavor? I’ll put it in.' Put it in? They look at me," with a look of disbelief. "Do these people really think the coffee bean grows in flavors? Like it comes in hazelnut and mint? These are people with college educations. But they want Starbucks. So I tell them, very nicely I say," with a wave of her hand, "So go to Starbucks.”

The East Village has enough Starbucks. We need DeRobertis.


ShatteredMonocle said...

Awful, disgusting, etc.

Herb Westphalen Chef/Mixologist said...

DeRoberti's is one of the last refuges in NYC. It not only exudes history, but allows visitors a chance to experience what was once good in the character of New York, A neighborhood classic with wonderful goodies. It would be a crime to lose such a landmark.

Anonymous said... will truly be the end of an era if they leave the EV.

Laura Goggin Photography said...

I don't even know what to say. Just when I think my heart can't break any more, there's news like this.

I had some wonderful evenings in the back room with cappuccino and the violin. I always felt I was back in time with family. I feel so sad for people who will never get to experience such a place.

Space Pope said...

Hot, humid summer days. Riots on A. Sidewalks paved in urine. Down in DeRobertis; cool tile floor, horse races on the T.V. while the previous generations check the racing forms.

Sipping cappuccino and munching a cannoli, free from prying eyes and grabbing hands that try to spin you everywhere but where you are. Grounded and safe in the feel of days gone by.

It was all too short.

Unknown said...

Oh no an ex-boyfiend took me here for the first time a few years ago & it was so special, no fuss no attitude no lifestyle selling just great pastry good coffee (I never like fancy coffee when eating great sweets) and casual comfortable environment, can't these places like this be subsidized by someone ? I mean can't Donald Trump rush in and say I will pay the difference in their rent for the next 20years.

laura r. said...

i still dont get this starbucks thing. its a world wide chain. not especially ugly, but why so popular? is it because they can sit down & look@the cell phones? or is it the takeout thing? the flavors are syrip all chemicals. it's not the same as real hazelnut coffee, or decent chocolate. this is the coffee version of froyo. am i correct? btw, the normal coffee is bitter. you pay a fortune & they expect you to clean your own tables. guess i dont understand the younger generation.

Anonymous said...

So many college students, yet with so little knowledge of actual life! Makes the idea that they're being "educated" a little questionable, to say the least.

I'm sorry that the good people who own & run DeRobertis have to put up with the stupidity of those whose brains can't fathom that there was anything here before (or other than!) Starbucks and similar chain stores.

Kathleen Brady said...

Great knowledge, time and caring goes into this blog. Of course those days when opportunities were expand for people (as opposed to real estate interests) are as vanished as our street life.