It is with a heavy heart that I am writing about the closing of Caffe Dante.  There were rumors swirling around for the last few months, but it is rumor no more.  I haven’t felt this sad since CBGB’s was shuttered to make way for a John Varvatos store, or when they tore down The old Thunderbolt in Coney Island. Pieces and places of my old New York disappearing and soon to become nothing more than a faded memory.

Memories of Caffe Dante

Caffe Dante had been an intricate part of the Village for as long as I can remember.  It was a place where Bob Dylan and other New York City folk artists choose to hang out during the 1960’s and 70’s, but it goes even further back than that. Caffe Dante opened in 1915 in the then mostly Italian part of the Village. A place where Italian immigrates would meet over espresso and talk about politics and home.

Caffe Dante opened the same year that New York City women took part in the women’s suffrage movement by walking up 5th avenue to advocate for women’ s rights. It survived the Great Depression and the some what gritty days of the 1980’s but could not survive in the current ever changing city. A City I barely recognize on some days when I’m walking passed the endless macaroons stores, Chipotles, high priced specialty coffee & tea shops and endless beer bars.

Old NYC Disappearing

There were many times, after a stressful day, that I would choose Caffe Dante over a Starbucks for my cappuccino. The old fashioned and familiar décor welcomed me in. I never minded the wobbly chairs, that I balanced myself on, while enjoying an incredible cannoli, or the fact that they had no wifi so laptops were a no-no. It only added to the charm and appeal of the place. If I am feeling bad I can only imagine how the loyal regulars feel, and the owner Mario Flotta who owned Caffe Dante for many decades. Rumor has it that an Australian restaurant chain will be taking its place.  I wish them well and certainly hope they appreciate the history of the former Caffe Dante spot on the corner of MacDougal and Bleecker Streets in Greenwich Village.

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About The Author

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Resident Tourist

Born here. Lives here and never leaving. The nicest person to ever not speak in public. Loves New York