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

300lafayette-1
300 Lafayette Bills itself as ‘Cutting Edge’ with New Ad Banners

Alive for many months, the project site at 300 Lafayette Street is finally ready to go big on the hype. Banners pimping the new seven-story commercial building were affixed to the sidewalk bridge earlier this month, promising “cutting edge.” Hard to believe it’s already been a year since the BP gas station at the corner of […]

da-falafel-guys-rivington
‘Da Falafel Guys’ Coming to Rivington Street, Forged from the Remains of the Falafel Shop

The retail reanimation of 127 Rivington Street includes a bizarro version of its former self. Seven months later, no longer known as the Falafel Shop, the tiny store is now home to something called Da Falafel Guys. The signage and offering are nearly identical to the predecessor, but it’s under different ownership. Da Falafel Guys […]

trump-dick-face-orchard_wm
Dick-Faced Trump Paster Appears at Hanksy’s ‘Dump Trump’ Wall on Orchard Street

It was a beacon of anti-Trumpism for more than a year. Until this past January when Hanksy’s Dump Trump Mural was whitewashed. The narrative at the time suggested that the building owners received a letter from the city last summer to clean up this shit or face fines. But the real reason was that they […]

thelma-clinton-gate
Thelma on Clinton is reborn as ‘Lil Gem’ Lebanese Restaurant

Chef-restaurateur Melissa O’Donnell delivered on her promise to return to the Lower East Side with a new concept. Indeed, more than a month after shuttering the three-year-old Thelma on Clinton, the space at 29 Clinton Street has been transformed into a Lebanese restaurant called Lil’ Gem. Evoking her Lebanese heritage again – Thelma was named […]

138bowery-update-1_wm
New Condo-Hotel on the Bowery Ascends Halfway to 8 Stories

Now that the centuries-old Federal-style houses are a footnote in the pages of local history, the next chapter is foisted upon us. It’s been a few months since our last progress report on the status of the historically significant 138-142 Bowery development site. In that time, activity has been swift. The forthcoming condo-hotel has already […]