[Photo from Tuesday night]
The all-day cafe at 77 Second Ave. between East Fourth Street and East Fifth Street has closed.
Several readers noted that the space was dark all week... and we received confirmation of the closure yesterday.
The low-key Ballaro, which served Italian coffee and pastries during the day, and beer, wine and small plates in the evening hours, opened here in May 2009. The owners also run Cacio e Pepe and Cacio e Vino nearby.
The owners also operated a short-lived bakery on East Fifth Street that, unfortunately, only lasted just four months.
As we first reported last August, the cafe made headlines after drunken Taylor Swift fans apparently terrorized the staff by demanding they play more of the pop star's music on the house stereo. (Not really a Taylor Swift kinda place, you know?)
Ballaro wrote about the incident on Facebook:
One of the women in the group took out her phone and said that she was going to make a viral video so no one would come to Ballaro anymore. Now this, more than anything, upsets me because Ballaro is a gathering place for neighbors, friends, lovers and strangers alike. We have a community that gathers in Ballaro and we all love and support each other and welcome anyone in our restaurant and bar. To possibly lose all that because of someone’s tainted point of view on social media, would be the worst thing.
My mission is to make everyone who enters through the front door feel like they are at home, because sometimes New York hardens even the best of us and we forget the true values in life: community and peace.
The owners passed along this message to us:
We want thank all of our customers and staff for the support and hard work over the past 7 years. With rising cost of operating a small business in NYC and the changes in the neighborhood, we could not longer stay afloat. Feel free to drop by our other restaurant Cacio e Vino across the street from Ballaro. Thank you again to everyone who helped to make Ballaro a place that will truly be missed.
Previously on EV Grieve:
Why Taylor Swift fans treated the staff like shit at Ballaro on 2nd Avenue