Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Fire-damaged Via Della Pace unsure about reopening on 7th Street; Cafe Mocha in bad shape


[Photos yesterday by Steven]

A day after the three-alarm fire tore through 48 E. Seventh St. at Second Avenue, residents and business owners faced the grim task of assessing the damage.

The owners of Via Della Pace on Seventh Street posted this message on Instagram about their very uncertain future:

We are deeply saddened that our restaurant, Via Della Pace, was involved in a fire yesterday. Everything was completely destroyed, and we were unable to salvage our precious items. We are holding onto the good memories of serving our wonderful clients and will always remember the fun times we shared over a good meal.

As of now, we are unsure whether we will continue with our restaurant business. We will keep you updated, and we are so thankful for your support and love.

The rustic Italian cafe opened in 2001.

Meanwhile, on the corner, Cafe Mocha, which opened in 2008, looks to be in bad shape with extensive water damage...









[Updated 5 p.m.] The restaurant, with a sidewalk cafe that draws a crowd in warm-weather months, posted this update to its website:

Due to a fire above Cafe Mocha we will be temporarily closed while we assess the severe damages. For our neighbors and customers, we appreciate your loyalty all these years. We remain hopeful that we will reopen to continue serving our friends and families.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Five firefighters were treated for minor injuries. None of the residents were said to be injured. One tenant of the building said on an EVG Facebook post that "all tenants and animals are safe and sound."

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is very sad. I have patronized both of these places for years since I live on 7th. They are or were staples in our community. I cannot believe there has been yet another fire in the east village. My heart aches for those of whom that lost homes. I am also bummed for those of whom that have lost jobs at a beloved restaurant where they probably worked at for years. It really takes just one moment where some of us are in a tenuous situation. I hope all involved can eventually heal from this. Is there anything we as neighbors can do? Is there a go fund me page yet?

Anonymous said...

so sad!

Anonymous said...

Really sad.
Seems like so many fires in the EV over the past few years.
Not to sound paranoid, but some sort of nefarious landlord thing?
Or is it just a consequence of old buildings without sufficient wiring that cannot accommodate modern usage/over-usage?

Anonymous said...

Fires have been burning down structures before there was electricity and when folks lived in the homes they built. Point is, speculation can lead you anywhere, wait for the investigation.

Anonymous said...

Dreadful news. Any announcements or links to GoFundMe type drives for residents or businesses?

Anonymous said...

@10:28am: I don't think anyone can say what happened until the FDNY issues a report. It doesn't have to be "insufficient wiring" - it could be a lot of things. Among those things could be: overloaded outlets, fraying extension cords, a candle left burning, or a LOT of other things we don't know about.

But this is very much a tragedy for the residents (thank heaven they all are OK along with any pets), and the businesses, and the neighborhood. I hope everyone was insured, but no insurance payout can ever make up for the disruption, the distress & the agony of seeing one's home or livelihood GONE.

Grieve, if there's a gofundme or similar, please do let us know.

Annie said...

So So Sad for tenants and restaurants. I loved going to the affordable darling Cafe Mocha and Via Della Pace was always a charming view on my frequent walks to and from my nearby apartment. I can't bear to think of the years of renovation ahead, and worst of all if they tear the building down.

Anonymous said...

I've lived in the EV for a few years, and only went to Cafe Mocha for the first time this past weekend. I am so sad it took me this long to go there. Everything was delicious, and the staff was so so so nice. I am heartbroken for them. I hope they are able to reopen.

Anonymous said...

These two were almost the last restaurants in the 2nd Ave area that feel like neighborhood spots. It’s certainly a huge lose to tenants, staff and owners, but also to the entire neighborhood. They are irreplaceable.

Anonymous said...

Noooo!! 7th Street has taken too many hits over the years. Waiting for a gofundme.

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy someone posted above that people and pets were all okay. This is so so sad. My heart goes out to everyone who lived and worked there.

Anonymous said...

Just a nostalgia thing, but a restaurant in della pace location in the 80's, name on the tip of my tongue, was so neighborhood that when someone painted on the wood in front "people starve on this block" the restaurant never painted over it. For years.

Anonymous said...

These were such neighborhoody, non-touristy places. I am heartbroken for them and for our loss. It’s terrifying too that these fires keep happening in the east village. I am one building away and luckily was spared, but what if it happened to us? Hope the businesses will publicly post if they need help in getting back up on their feet.

Anonymous said...

@5:38 am that story warms my heart. also was not cafe della pace there in the 80s?

Anonymous said...

This entire intersection is changed forever. In addition to these restaurants, we lost Virage (a great place before it became a bar), The Stage, San Loco, Moishes, all the businesses that were lost in the gas explosion, and The Kiev (although I have mixed feelings about that one considering what happened). I'm sure I'm forgetting other changes that have happened here in the last 5-10 years.

Anonymous said...

VERY SAD!!! Feel so bad for Owners

Anonymous said...

@11:37 am Yes, they were definitely there in the 80s. I remember having coffee there in the late 80s when I was at Columbia. Moved to the East Village in 1990 and have continued to go there ever since. But maybe they were Caffe della Pace in the 80s-90s and changed to Via della Pace in 2001? I really hope that they can reopen.

Jose Garcia said...

Anonymous 11:37 AM

That is my recollection as well. Before there was a place called Cafe Della Pace there. I assumed the proprietors just changed the name to Villa...