Friday, January 21, 2022

The first look at the all-new Via Della Pace on 4th Street

Text and photos by Stacie Joy

I’m back at Via Della Scrofa to meet with co-owner Giovanni Bartocci and get a sneak peek at Via Della Pace’s new location at 87 E. Fourth St. between Second Avenue and the Bowery. Business partner and co-owner Marco Ventura keeps tabs on the alimentari while Bartocci takes me down the block to see the renovated space as they ready it for opening. 

While here, I ask for an update on Bartocci’s expired E-2 visa. (He was back in Italy as of yesterday.) In addition, we talk about the fires in the previous location in 2020 after 17 years in service, the status of the new space, and the immigration issues that have forced Bartocci to temporarily leave the United States.

What’s the status of the new home for Via Della Pace?

We are close — very, very close to opening. Close to opening sounds funny, but we have been almost ready since the end of July, but nothing is playing on our side. We are stubborn, and we don’t give up!

You posted on Instagram in 2020 that you were able to salvage the original sign from Seventh Street. Will there be anything else from the original restaurant here?

Thank God the first fire [Feb. 10] wasn’t as bad as the second [Dec. 5]. And the most important thing, no one got severely injured or worse, and the only damage we had was mainly from the water. 

We didn’t have a single flame inside, and we were able to save most of all the memorabilia and tables — the soul of VDP is going to be there!    
How did you mark the 1st anniversary of the fire this past Dec. 5?

I just stopped by and cried a bit. It is really painful for me every time I pass by! I miss VDP every single day — it was just magical. 

You mentioned that your E-2 visa has expired, and you are being forced to leave the country until you can reapply. Are you comfortable talking about the visa issue? 

What can I say? Since Feb. 10, 2020, everything went wrong, and my visa problem is just a consequence of all these crazy events. For sure, I can tell you I wasn’t very lucky but considering what is happening in the world, I’m alive and still fighting, so I should reconsider the word luck. Plus, after two years I will see my family again. Yes, I must go back to Italy, but you will not get rid of me so easily! [Laughs]      
You can keep an eye on the restaurant’s Instagram page for any updates.
Previously on EV Grieve


OlympiasEpiriot said...

Oof. Visa problems are such a pain. I believe that people should be allowed to move freely and the movement of money across borders needs to be more controlled. It is people who make things lovely restaurants.

I also love these photos and am really looking forward to going as soon as they're open!

Anonymous said...

That skylight looks fantastic, they have two floors? I was worried it was going to be small and dark, looks great!

Grieve said...

The skylight is in the backroom...

Anonymous said...

Visa renewals are always a loooong process. So frustrating.
Good luck! Hope he can return soon.

Anonymous said...

Fabulous. Beautiful octagonal sky light.

Jill W said...

Sick skylight! Wishing for a turnaround in luck, hoping great things are just around the corner.

Gchris11 said...

Skylight is in the backroom that was closed after Sandy caused damage

Katie Fontana Rendeiro said...

So happy for Giovanni to be reopening. Pietro would be so proud too. Bravo! Can’t wait to visit.