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

calexico-closed-2
Calexico’s LES Location is Closed for Unspecified ‘Renovations and Repair’

Here’s one out of left field. Truck-to-store mini-chain Calexico suddenly shuttered its Lower East Side HQ at 153 Rivington Street last week. Reason given, as per the computer printout, is “renovations and repair” work. The closure was sudden and somewhat surprising, given that it’s a well-oiled machine and usually fairly full. We spoke to a few […]

olch-orchard
Tie for Thai: Lovely Day Rumored to Open New Spot on Orchard Street

If Lovely Day gets its way, will it be one? We are hearing some chatter of late that the decade-old Lovely Day cafe on Elizabeth Street has grand plans for the Lower East Side. In particular, sources say that the eclectic, yet popular Thai cafe hopes to open a location at 14 Orchard, currently home to […]

38delancey-fallen
Report: Victim Who Fell to His Death at 38 Delancey ‘Appeared to be Drunk’

Early yesterday morning – roughly 2:30am – a 28-year-old man plunged to his death from a sixth-floor balcony at 38 Delancey Street. The victim had been sitting on the balcony railing, facing the building, when he fell backward. CBS New York followed up on the story (amongst many others), and gleaned info from the security […]

bh-dairy-shuttered
B&H Dairy is One Step Closer to Reopening, Yet Frustration Mounts

For the 73-year-old B&H Dairy, the frustration is mounting. Three months after the deadly Second Avenue explosion at its doorstep, reopening is still well on the horizon. Yes, the gears are in motion, but it’s painfully slow. The first DOB permit was issued last week, needed for installation of the requisite $28,000 fire suppression system; […]

clinton-henry
New 2-Way Protected Bike Lane for Clinton Street, Plus Other Traffic Changes Coming Soon

Some major traffic changes are coming soon to the lower third of Clinton Street. This stretch of roadway is often considered by locals to be little more than an off-ramp from the FDR. The Department of Transportation finally recognized some of the safety concerns, and will soon embark on its overall “South Street Greenway” project. […]