Beloved Gaia Italian Cafe on East Houston Closes, then Reopens [UPDATED]
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Gaia Italian Cafe at 251 East Houston Street closed over the weekend with almost no warning. The sudden, sad news is rather surprising given that the three-year-old subterranean spot usually had little problem filling tables. It was a no-frills, homey establishment with good food and cozy atmosphere. Something not easy to find around the Lower East Side anymore.
UPDATE: a tipster informs us that Gaia is open for service today, but that the future of the establishment is up in the air.
The following note appeared on the Gaia Italian Cafe Facebook page last Friday:
Gaia italian cafe is closing probably forever, saturday will be our last days, too much has happen and the owner does not feel anymore to do it, so before coming to the cafe give a call to see if we are still on premises. A lot of love to everybody.
As you can see, concrete reason for the closure is rather ambiguous. Either way, it’s nevertheless a loss for the community, evidenced by the outpouring of responses. And her devoted followers are certainly mourning. One Jan-Carlo Marasigan responded, summing up the situation perfectly:
I have never felt so passionately about a restaurant such as yours and the energy and spirit you brought will be sorely missed just as much as your cuisine that you have allowed many of us to enjoy. I wish you all the best Gaia and know that this isn’t an end, but a start to something new.
Gaia Italian Cafe opened here in January 2011.