Wednesday, May 28, 2014

[Updated] 110-year-old DeRobertis Pasticceria and Caffe looks to be closing once the building is sold


[EVG file photo]

Last June, we spotted a listing for 174-176 First Ave. At the time, the sale didn't mention anything about the status of longtime (since 1904) home of the great DeRobertis Pasticceria and Caffe at No. 176.

However, several EVG tipsters have forwarded updated real-estate listings … showing that the retail spaces in the basement and first floor of No. 176 will be delivered vacant once the buildings sell … (this may be news to the bakery, who say that they are not closing)



This listing, via a tipster, shows the current rent going for $4,000 a month for the bakery, with a projected monthly increase to $19,583.

DeRobertis has their in-house bakery in the basement.

The asking price is $12 million. (And at least one listing mentions that 4,162 square feet of air rights are available.)

City records show that the DeRobertis family has owned the buildings for 30-plus years.

Here's some history of the bakery via the DeRobertis website …

There are not many Pasticceria and Caffe's that can actually claim four continuous generations of friendly, family service. Our family tradition has survived through all types of conditions such as World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, the fabulous Fifties, the Vietnam War, the recession of the 70's, the boom of the 80's ... With hard work, a determination to provide the finest pastries, cakes and desserts and your patronage, we will continue into the 21st Century.

Read more about the history of DeRobertis on their website.

So this appears to be the family's decision to retire — they weren't pushed out. Regardless, go enjoy this East Village treasure while you still can.

[EVG file photo]

Updated: A DeRobertis family member said that closure was only "a rumor."

Previously on EV Grieve:
174-176 First Ave., home of DeRobertis Pasticceria and Caffe, is for sale

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

This breaks my heart, but it appears it is the family's choice to close down the cafe. They do own the building that houses it after all and they are choosing to sell the building. Thanks for sharing this. I am going to stop there more often now that I know this.

Suanne said...

Nooooooooo! I don't think I can bear the end of my Lenten sfingi habit! Can't blame them for selling but the day they close will be a sad, sad day.

Anonymous said...

My heart is also broken, into a million tiny floor tiles.

Just tell me when so I can be sure to load up on sfogliatella every day until then.

Anonymous said...

I know but I don't want to know...

Billsville said...

I hate the idea of losing them but the place is usually dead, while the lines at Veniero's stretch out the door every big holiday. Maybe if more people had supported them the they could have stuck around longer, but everyone is on a starvation or alcohol-only diet these days so that's that. And it's their choice to sell the place, so who do we blame this time? I blame Bloomberg.

Anonymous said...

Another 4162 square feet means adding about 4 floors which seems unlikley for a walkup building such as this. I think a complete gut or tear down which would start the ball rolling on 1st avenue's transformation to the UES.

A little while ago I said...

Wow, good for them! They worked hard all these years and deserve to have a nice retirement. 12 million shared between them may not amount to a whole hell of a lot after taxes but hey! It'll be a nice enough return so they can enjoy their golden years.

Anonymous said...

Nooooo! I love sitting in the back around Easter, eating hot cross buns and daydreaming! Please don't go DeRobertis!

Gojira said...

I just can't bear it. One of the few places in the nabe in which I still feel comfortable just sitting drinking great cappuccinos, meeting friends, knowing there will be no assholes, loud music, "hipness'. Devastating news.

David said...

This is so sad. I always liked them better than Veniero's, although I only get to DeRobertis about two times a year. It's sad to see any institutions with over a century of history disappear, even if it is by choice.

blueglass said...

this is one of the last (if not the last) long-time family establishments. and the only place that let you sit and talk without trying to push you out.
venieros advertises a lot and has a big tourist trade but their renovated glitz cannot compare with the comfort of derobertis.
i am saddened by the rapid disappearance of our neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

I'm very sad to lose such character and flavor. I also feel deceived, because I'd heard the rumors over the winter and went and asked the younger proprietor what was up. "We're not going anywhere," he said firmly.
Huh??

Maggie Dubris said...

Oh I hope First Flight Music ( on the floor above) doesn't get forced out. I love that place, a great neighborhood music store.

12:07 pm said...

Perfect spot for froyo in a hoof, getting closer to that reality. For now, we can all enjoy schnitzel with the hooves still on it. http://ny.eater.com/archives/2014/03/east_village_schnitzel_emporium_to_open_tomorrow.php

Anonymous said...

I have always preferred Di R. over the other choices in the neighborhood; friendlier and more welcoming.

Anonymous said...

mob used to meet in the back...

THE LOW LIFE said...

I just called them and the owner said that they weren't closing. He even seemed confused.
You should call yourselves.
212-674-7137

Jack Cooper said...

Marzipan! Little lambs ... Descent through that threshold to another time, a serener place: thrust through (sweetly) by the presence, the power of the real --

since displaced by yet another more powerful, more plentiful and real. Everyone's gone to the movies now. It's all in the past.

Charlie Chen said...

I talked to them last year as well when the story of them selling the building first broke, and they said that they weren't closing, either. But I think that their problem is they haven't innovated at all. Just like in life, if you stop innovating in business, you will be superseded by others. Why do tourists go to Veniero's instead of DeRobertis? I can tell you it's because the latter doesn't look nice, the cookies are stale, and it's more expensive. Price being the least important factor, they could have done a lot more over the years to make the place a place guide books want to visit, and have tourists bring their cash.

Anonymous said...

"i love this place so much"
"i used to go there"
"it's bloomberg's fault"

no. it's your fault. show your support by patronizing it, not blogging about it.

2:59 pm said...

Fear not, DeRobertis will be rebooted -- an 80-seat café pasticcery (née caffe nor pasticceria) club combo space that will be open from 6 a.m. to 4 a.m., have security guards 3-4 nightly, will employ 15-20 people, serving quinoa bowls, kale salads, biscuits!>, artisanal meats and cheeses, and of course, $15 licorice latte, and $20 flaming-torched ramp cocktails made my mixologists. And the lobby would be, of course, occupied by a bank, and V.I.P. section with bottle service on the roof top with decks and swimming pool! Can't wait for DeRobertis 2.0.

Anonymous said...

OH NO. Say it ain't so!!! This is the best and most authentic of every small Italian Bakery/Café in Manhattan. Walking in to the scent is only 1/2 the fun...walking into the early 19th century is the other half. The place puts Veniero's to shame. DeRobertis is legendary and as a 35 year resident of the EV I will be heartbroken if it closes, leaving us with the totally touristy Veniero's for our cannolis and cappuccinos.

Dan said...

Some of us actually DO go there all the time. I regularly bring friends here for a post dinner coffee and "sweet thing" and a place to talk. I also thank my growing middle to all the Casatine Sicilianes I keep buying to take out.

It's not as fancy as Veniero's, but it is friendly and a great neighborhood place.

Don't blame us...many of us were regulars!

BJ said...

Sorry, but Veniero's is just so much better.

Anonymous said...

This place is really gross. It's like walking into a museum. Can't believe there is so much love here.

HippieChick said...

NOOOOOOOO!!!!! I cannot bear the thought. I will drop by soonest and ASK them about it. Can't stand Veniero's except for eclairs and DeR's Italian ices are much much better. I bring everybody there including yes, celeb friends (and late husband), and they all love the place. I've been going there since I moved into the EV in 1968 and I will be shattered if it closes...

Jonathan said...

I woke up to the smell of their baked goods every morning for years, way back when....My bedroom window overlooked their back door. Lemon ice on summer nights...cannoli fresh. I heard that all the tile in there had been "lifted" by masons working on the subways in the early years..'bye Di Roberti's.

Anonymous said...

It would be great if you could get an interview with one of the family members to get the full story. Not to make more work for you!

Anonymous said...

Just came from DeRobertis and the girl behind the counter hadn't heard a peep about the building being sold/a potential shut down of the shop. She seemed like she was family, so she would know. If she was FOS she was a great actress. I hope they don't close. Just reporting back...EV Grieve. You sure?

BaHa said...

Got there every couple of weeks to stock up on lemon cookies, and to bitch about men when with the older womnan behind the counter, whom I've known for over thirty years.

EV Grieve said...

@ anon 10:23

The building hasn't been sold yet — just on the market… I do hope that the marketing materials from the broker are incorrect. The screen grab of the documents that are being sent to potential buyers show the retail space will be delivered vacant.

The Manganaro family put their building up for sale on 9th Avenue in 2011 and said that they were staying put… and they closed a year later.

Anonymous said...

Is summer bringing out the BS in the brokerage community just to see what they can stir up? It could in fact just be that something to add to the summer sales season. When I told them about the initial listing report is when you saw it go down and evaporate. Should I give them a call to put the rumors to rest?

Anonymous said...

I find it odd that an employee doesn't know the building is for sale, especially if she is family. I was there at the beginning of the year and heard Annie tell a customer that the holiday season was really slow, that business was off.

Anonymous said...

What is it with this country and tearing everything down?

Ken from Ken's Kitchen said...

Seiously, De Robertis closing would be a tragedy.

deb sprague said...

"starts"? sigh.....

Sally Eckhoff said...

"To get into De Robertis’ you passed between two glass pastry cases piled with those alien cookies only Italian bakers know how to make: vivid pink and green leaf shapes, iced white domes with crimson jelly nipples, ominous chunks of meringue on flat wafers they called ossi di morti—Bones of the Dead."
—from F*ck Art (Let's Dance). I wrote about East Village food, art, and music in the 1980s in this book. If you're reading this and you moved to NY before 1988, you're probably in it.

Chris Pizzolorusso said...

I have been buying my Italian pastries here for 40 years. I never cared for Veneiro's due their over use of sugar. But no other shop ever came close to the lightness and delicateness of Di Robertis'. In this day of quick made chemical laden baked goods this is truly a loss. Old time New York City is fading.I am sad sad sad.

Anonymous said...

Sad, sad... I used to go there and eat pastry away from the Veniero's tourist hubbub. The hex tile floors, mob guys wandering in the back....

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else remember the chocolate covered doughnuts they used to do? I think they quit those sometime in the 1990s but they were the best. I've never found any others as good as they were and always hoped they'd return one day. I will really miss DiRobertis if they close. :deva