Caffe Vivaldi Rent Plight Reaches MoveOn.org

Posted on: November 17th, 2011 at 6:18 am by

Jeremiah over at Vanishing New York sure struck a chord when he broke news last week that Caffe Vivaldi is vanishing from the map. The thirty-year-old Greenwich Village institution on Jones Street is being forced out thanks to an exorbitant rent hike by greedy slumlord Steve Croman. It turns out, Croman, listed by the Village Voice in 2008 as one of the ten worst landlords in the city, has already kicked out Strider Records and reportedly leveling a three-fold monthly increase for the coffee shop. Grassroots outcry ensued with supporters mobilizing to create a small-time petition against a Goliath of an adversary.

[Photo Credit: Vanishing NY]

Now there might be some hope, thanks to some national attention. Indeed, the story seems to have snowballed and landed on the desk of liberal advocacy group Moveon.org, which is currently circulating the petition amongst its various constituents. At present, 3,672 signatures have been collected, with a goal of at least 4,000.

The following email blast was written by owner Ishrat Ansari, but distributed by Move On:

There is a place in New York that is one-third real and two-thirds magical, and it is about to disappear… unless we do something now.

For 30 years Caffe Vivaldi has nurtured artists writers, poets, and mostly musicians. It has a new landlord, and he wants to triple the rent. We cannot fight him; he is too strong. The only way forward is to appeal to his better side and reason with him not to snuff the life out of this cherished haven of hope and encouragement for young artists.

Our aim is to urge our landlord not to increase our rent to an amount we can never come up with for 685 square feet of space. We want to be fair to him and want him to be fair to us: All we are asking is that he charge us the fair market rent.

That’s why I created a petition to Caffe Vivaldi’s landlord, Steven Croman, on SignOn.org, which says:

Caffe Vivaldi is a cultural institution. We want your support and patronage to continue doing what we have been doing for the past 28 years; that is, providing a haven for young artists, writers, and musicians so they can continue to contribute to New York’s vibrant cultural life.

Only you can help us continue our mission by granting us a lease that reflects the actual current market rent structure.

Recent Stories

happn12
Happn is the Swipe-Right of Dating Apps

You took the F train to 2nd Avenue and came across the match of your dreams. For a fleeting moment you considered saying something, but couldn’t choose the words. Later that evening, you’re kicking yourself for doing nothing. Now Happn is there to help. Rather than swiping forever on Tinder or perusing your local Craigslist […]

danziger-gallery-rivington
Chelsea’s Danziger Gallery Relocates to LES, Takes Over from Christian Berst on Rivington Street

Barely a year after its October 2014 debut, the Christian Berst Art Brut gallery on Rivington Street is gone. It threw in the proverbial towel just before the new year. The Compass brokerage banner briefly sat in the window as tombstone. The commercial unit – 2,200 square-feet across five rooms – was officially listed at […]

yp-dollar-store-1
In Which an LES Dollar Store Becomes Host to ‘Bookshop’ for Badlands Unlimited

The non-descript Y.P. dollar store on Rutgers Street is what you might expect. A below-grade discount shop that stocks all the usual Chinatown essentials, from toiletries to secrond-rate electronic components. And, as of last week, books from publisher Badlands Unlimited. Mr. and Mrs. Yu have operated Y.P. for years. It’s a reliable standby on the […]

broome-street-eastbound
CB3 Approves Traffic Reversal on Broome Street Because Essex Crossing

With the four sites of Phase I in full gear, Essex Crossing is wreaking havoc on the streets cross-crossing the development area. Traffic has markedly worsened in the area directly feeding the Williamsburg Bridge, where big rigs bottleneck the streets with deliveries on the regular. Residents aren’t too thrilled, especially with regard to constant queuing […]

essex-theatre-grand
Exhuming the Fabled Essex Theatre on Grand Street [HISTORY]

​Finally, the day has come when a true photo emerges of the fabled Essex Theatre on Grand Street. We couldn’t understand how so few images of the movie house were public. Almost like it never existed. However. A Boogie reader shares the above image of the Essex Theatre in January 1985. It’s a side view […]