One Year Later, Bricia Cafe Finally Opens on Rivington Street
It was a year of faded signs and promises.
Indeed, despite the arrival of branded awning and “coming soon” announcements at the corner of Clinton and Rivington Streets, Bricia cafe had been notably silent. That’s all at an end, though.
The Italian cafe is finally open to the public, having debuted at 79 Clinton yesterday afternoon. The windows are scrubbed of grime and graffiti, revealing a dining room of tables and chairs.
Bricia also briefly occupied space at 267 Lafayette Street in the old Bottega Falai restaurant. That location has since shuttered.
Before Bricia, Marm Cafe previously held court at 79 Clinton for three years until its demise in August 2017. That business was named for Fredericka “Marm” Mandelbaum, “Queen of Thieves,” who owned a haberdashery on this spot starting in 1865. The crook is often considered the most successful fence in New York City history. From Sarah Breger’s Queen of Thieves: “a huge woman weighing more than two hundred and fifty pounds with ‘extraordinarily fat cheeks,’ Mandelbaum was the head of one of the first organized crime rings and a driving force behind New York City’s underworld for more than twenty-five years.” Mandelbaum handled nearly $10 million in stolen property antebellum through the 1890s using her needles, ribbons, buttons, and the aforementioned thread store as a front. Her apartment above was reportedly furnished completely with stolen goods for uptown mansions.