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

71orchard-bing-2
Jianbing Newcomer ‘Bing Kitchen’ on Orchard Street Sidelined Due to ‘Water Damage’

Bing Kitchen is off to a rocky start on Orchard Street. The snack shop newcomer, which specializes in the Chinese street-cart staple “Jianbing,” has been closed for the last week due to ambiguous “water damage” on-premise. That much is made clear via handwritten sign on the front door. While the “tomorrow” timeline was crossed out, ownership […]

vacant-ny-2
Mapping Vacant Stores to Show How ‘High Rent Blight’ is Killing the City

Warehousing. High rent blight. Store for rent. Call it what you want, but it’s a big problem in a city that so eagerly tosses its working class, mom-and-pop establishments into the proverbial gutter, in favor of high-paying corporate chains. It’s something that the Lower East Side, but the city at large, grapples with to a […]

189orchard-street
Basement Heist on Orchard Street Yields $20K in Loot for Suspected Burglars

This heist is straight out of the movies. Earlier this month, two burglars broke through a basement wall on Orchard Street to steal $20,000 from a local real estate company. On August 18, the brazen crooks snipped the cellar padlock of a neighboring business at 4pm in order to gain access to the basement, police […]

reed-space-farewell-2
‘Reed Space’ Calls it Quits After 15 Years on Orchard Street, but Seeks New Digs

Reed Space, one of the longest running tastemakers on the Lower East Side, is packing up the store for good after fifteen years on the block. Its last day at 151 Orchard Street is September 30, promising a nebulous “reset” in the near future. Leasing sign and announcement to fan faithful all but confirm the […]

falafel-shop-rivington
The Falafel Shop on Rivington Takes a ‘Maintenance’ Break, Should Return Next Week

You may have noticed that the Falafel Shop on Rivington Street wasn’t open all week. An explanation as to why didn’t actually materialize until yesterday. According to a laminate on the shuttered gate, the popular four-year-old Mediterranean joint closed for routine “maintenance,” but should reopen “middle of next week. Eyal Tov founded the Falafel Shop […]