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

7th-precinct
The LES Dwellers Call for Dissolution of 7th Precinct Community Council

The flashpoint local block association, LES Dwellers, are again at the forefront of controversy. This time, ire is directed toward the 7th Precinct Community Council for purported lack of transparency. The proverbial straw that broke the Hell Square back was cancellation of the scheduled public session at the last community affairs meeting on Wednesday. From the mailbag: […]

rivington-wall-mural
‘Rivington Wall’ Mural Programming Christened by the Bowery

The wallspace beside the On Stellar Rays gallery is officially its own exhibition space. What began with a mural by RETNA one year ago is now a fully-fledged project with a revolving door of art programming. It’s called the “Rivington Wall,” courtesy of Parasol Projects. Artwork is scheduled to change every four to six weeks. […]

Penny Arcade
You Must See Penny Arcade’s ‘Longing Lasts Longer’

I’m just going to jump right into it. You have to go see Penny Arcade’s LONGING LASTS LONGER at Joe’s Pub. I went this past Monday night, and I really want to share it with all of you awesome people because I know that you would have as much fun as I did. Plus, considering […]

Photo: @JeffKurzon
London Kaye Brings RHCP’s Flea to The Lower East Side

There’s another yarn bomber rocking the Lower East Side. Part Olek, part HOTTEA, fellow New Yorker London Kaye is adorning the outdoor surfaces of the city with her clever crocheting. One of her more recent pieces depicts a cartoonish Michael Peter Balzary, or, as most of the world know him – Flea. That’s right, the Red Hot Chili […]

Photo: Kevin Gannon
Looking Back at a Decade of Demolition on Upper Orchard Street [PHOTOS]

It was a slow death, but Ben “Sledgehammer” Shaoul finally cleared out the small businesses operating at the corner of Orchard and East Houston. A parcel for which he paid $75 million. Now, with the wrecking ball mid-swing, and ten floors of condos (plus an Equinox gym) in tow, we got to reminiscing. Yes. It’s […]