Next Tuesday, GVSHP will present a panel discussion entitled, “Historic Preservation, Meet Restaurant Preservation.” GVSHP’s Karen Loew will moderate the evening’s discussion of what can be done to keep our favorite dining establishments from disappearing. Panelists scheduled to participate include former New York Times restaurant critic Mimi Sheraton, Eater.com restaurant critic Robert Sietsema, Columbia University assistant professor of urban planning Stacey Sutton, and Tower Brokerage president Robert Perl.
So many issues are involved here. Evolving neighborhoods, rising rents, absence of commercial rent regulations, changing food tastes and dining habits are just a few. Many times we lose a favorite restaurant or café, and just shrug it off, assuming that there is nothing that could have saved it.
But is there? We have a system in place to save historic buildings and neighborhoods. So why not a system to save historically and culturally significant restaurants? Caffe Reggio on Mac Dougal Street, home of New York City’s first cappuccino and a favorite of NYU students, village residents and those needing a sip before or after a Bleecker Street gig, was featured in last year’s Oscar-nominated film “Inside Llewyn Davis.” And although we take it for granted, we would really miss this place should it close.
Our friends at Veselka, the 2nd Avenue spot renowned for its Ukrainian specialties (love that borscht!), just celebrated their 60th anniversary – congratulations to them! – but a few blocks away, what used to be the famous 2nd Avenue Deli, is now a Chase bank.
If you would like to learn more about applying the principles behind historic preservation to the restaurants, delis, cafes and bakeries we would like to save from being “86’d”, please attend this program. To register, please call (212) 475-9585 ext. 35 or email.