[Photo from earlier this month by Ali Smith]
As you probably know, the owners of Black Seed bagels are opening a location at the former De Robertis Pasticceria and Caffe on First Avenue near East 11th Street.
Noah Bernamoff and Matt Kliegman, the owners of the popular Montreal-style bagel shop on Elizabeth Street, have maintained that they will keep as much of the former tenant's original architectural elements intact as they can.
In an interview at Off the Grid yesterday, the two reiterated their preservationist commitment.
In general, the pair say their goal is to bring back as much of the early-20th century material and look as possible, while removing some mid- and late-20th century fixtures – like the front display cases and shelves behind them. “We discovered beautiful old brick walls behind there,” Bernamoff said. He asserts that the tin ceiling, hand-cut wall tiles, round “penny tiles” on the floor (which aren’t made anymore) are all staying – but where those elements are missing or damaged, they will not be replaced with facsimiles.
“It’s better to leave what’s there than try to recreate it,” Bernamoff said. “We want to have it feel old, and have it feel historic … If we try to recreate [vintage elements], it will take away the specialness of some of what is there. We don’t want to create confusion. We want people to recognize that the space is 110 years old.”
They also plan to keep the neon De Robertis sign on the façade.
[Photo by James and Karla Murray]
Said Bernamoff, “We prefer to keep the neon as intact as we possibly can without misleading people.” So they may just keep the Pastry Shoppe part illuminated, for example.
The 110-year-old DeRobertis Pasticceria and Caffe closed this past Dec. 5 after 110 years in business.
Previously on EV Grieve:
Ugh: The 110-year-old DeRobertis Pasticceria and Caffe closes after Dec. 5 (43 comments)
[Updated] 110-year-old DeRobertis Pasticceria and Caffe looks to be closing once the building is sold
174-176 First Ave., home of DeRobertis Pasticceria and Caffe, is for sale
Let's take a look at the DeRobertis in-house bakery
Black Seed bringing bagels to the former DeRobertis space on 1st Avenue (43 comments)
A last look at De Robertis before its conversion to Black Seed bagels