Friday, January 26, 2018

Ciao For Now is closing after 17 years on 12th Street; will continue with catering business


[Photo via Instagram]

Ciao For Now, the homespun cafe at 523 E. 12th St. between Avenue A and Avenue B, is closing after 17 years in business. They will serve their last meal next Wednesday (Jan. 31).

However, the owners will continue on with their catering business as well as use the space for community events.

Here's a letter than they shared with me last night...

Dear East Village Community,

It is with heavy hearts that after 17 years, we close our cafe doors on February 1.

Moving forward, our primary focus will be our catering business and hosting community events.

We look forward to continuing to serve delicious handmade food to you by way of our online catering store at ciaofornow.nyc where you can order catering platters, cakes, pies, pastries and beverages...and yes...that includes our ginger green tea with lemon and honey :)

It is difficult to put into words all of the emotions we are feeling. We feel like we gave it everything we’ve got but as we are seeing all over NYC, the retail small business model has become nearly impossible to sustain. We have met so many incredible people along the way.

Raising our children in the cafe has been a great joy for our family. Ciao for Now has been a second home to many, and we couldn’t have made it this far without our amazing staff and all of your love and support. Thank you for your friendship and loyalty. Our family will always cherish all of the beautiful memories made here.

With much love & gratitude,

Ciao for Now
The Miceli Family

From 2008-2015 Ciao For Now had an outpost in the West Village. (Read about that here.) They closed that spot to focus on the original East Village location. As Amy Miceli said at that time: "It is brutal running a business in the city. I love it and hate it every day."

Ciao For Now will be open per usual for brunch this weekend 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

20 comments:

dwg said...

Oh man, yet another favored daytime restaurant. A warm, inviting place with a character all it's own. Beloved neighbors and space. A true example of a neighborhood friendly business.

Sarah Ferguson said...

Oh no! They have been so supportive of local schools and the community. This is very sad to me.

Anonymous said...

This one is like a death in the family. I have gotten my lunch and often dinner a few times per week since the year they opened on 12th. It was always a friendly, cozy place and all my friends and visitors loved it when I brought them to Ciao. I wish this family all the best going forward and will let them know personally that they and their food will be missed.

Edmund Dunn said...

I have said it before and I will say it again; this is the only solution to this issue, so called “tax breaks" are Band-Aids on shotgun wounds:

#SBJSA

Anonymous said...

They have the best muffins and the best scones!! They're really special. This completely sucks.

Anonymous said...

This is really sad news. It truly is one of the last friendly neighborhood restaurants.

nutbeem said...

Nooooooooo

Anonymous said...

CB3 where are you?

Anonymous said...

I share the sadness of the other commenters, and wish the owners well. I wonder if they can find another outlet to sell their baked goods, which are excellent?

Donnie Moder said...

Brutal is right. Congratulations on 17 years! And continued success to your catering and event business.

em said...

What a sad loss for the East Village. Ciao for Now has always been such a wonderful place for a warm, delicious meal. I will never forget having breakfast here the morning before Sandy rolled in - we wanted to conserve our food at home just in case (which ended up being a wise move on our part), and they made themselves available to so many folks in the neighborhood for lovely food, and a sense of normalcy before the storm hit. My husband and I will miss this lovely little restaurant so much - it has been a standby for us in the years we've called this neighborhood home, and based on the other comments in this thread, I know we're not alone in that. Best of luck to the Miceli family in their next venture, and thank you for all of the wonderful food and memories! Ciao will be sorely missed, that's for sure.

Anonymous said...

Wow. What a gut punch. And after seeing the Horton and Boris ridiculous build out today, take a peak, there’s seating for all of about 6 people. A favorite stretch of block for many with a terrific coffee shop and restaurant, completely upended. This poor neighborhood and it’s landlords filled with greed.

Anonymous said...

Seems like all the interesting little places are going one after the other.

I really loved their cheddar biscuits. And the sight of Kevin waddling around in his knickers, silly little hats and compression socks always gave me a chuckle. I’ll miss that more than anything, I think.

Anonymous said...

Really sorry to hear this. Its been a child-friendly haven for us over the years. I feel like my son has grown up with it. It will be greatly missed. (And I already hate Boris and Horton.)

Anonymous said...

I will miss Ciao for Now, but the posters who are already they don't like Boris and Horton, which hasn't even opened yet, might want to wait until they pass judgement. It is also a family-owned business--a father and daughter operation--and there is no need to pick on them. If anything, my guess is the Miceli's, who are nice people, will happily welcome them to the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

This is a shame. Amy always had a certain “embonpoint” about her that I admired. Wishing the Micucci family all the best.

Anonymous said...

What happened to the small biz zone initiative???

marjorie said...

YOU GUYS!!! HIRE THEM AS YOUR CATERER!! They’ve done two brunch parties I’ve hosted — one for 50 and one for 80. They do smaller events too. They were amazing, affordable, sweet as hell and so easy to work with. Everything comes adorably plated with vintage-y baskets and containers and everything is delicious. We were contending with food allergies and dietary requirements and they were unrufflable. My fancy out-of-town guests were blown away (not just the food and presentation — everyone agreed that the iced ginger green tea is THE BOMB.) As everyone else said, they’ve been wonderful, generous members of our EV community and my fam wishes them all the best in the world.

Anonymous said...

Major loss to the street and the hood. With all the multimillion $ buildings going up, you'd think there would be a demand for this sort of place- esp if they deliver. Too bad they couldnt hold out till the big luxury condos on 12 &A and on 14ths street were done. Intro offers to them would have had them hooked on Cia and helped the business. Guess the greedy landlord would rather see it empty w/ out rent income than lower it a bit? Bad bad omen

Anonymous said...

This small quaint eatery saw its clientele drop steadily over the last several years once new landlords took over the building. Since then, it has been continuous stream of heavy construction materials piled out front of the store, loud workmen, big long pipes, lumber, windows etc and dumpster overflowing w/ garbage and debris practically on Cia's doorstep. This trash heap was set directly in front of their sidewalk on foot-traffic space w/ dozen of workers in and out sitting on and in Cia space all day long. Gradually the customers willing to brave this raucous mess, lounge on Cia's benches w/ food, dogs & families thinned out. Dumpster issue really bad in past year- and customers disappeared. Cia should at least have gotten rent reduction. Not sure if they did. VERY sad to see it close- it was a wonderful anchor and great neighbor on the block.