Photos and reporting by Stacie Joy
When Downtown Bakery reopens at 69 First Ave., the delicious and affordable quick-serve Mexican restaurant will have new (familiar) owners and a new name.
On Feb. 21, as we first reported, the DOH closed Downtown Bakery for operating with an expired health permit. When we checked in with them last month, management was navigating the red tape to get a new permit and using the downtime to spruce up the small space here between Fourth Street and Fifth Street.
Now we learn that the longtime owner decided to retire, and the veteran managers (from left above), Ivan and Mario Marín, are taking over the reins.
In addition, the brothers say they are changing the name to Downtown Burritos Cocina Mexicana.
Ivan and Mario have worked for 20-plus years here and expect to make only a few cosmetic changes. They also mentioned the confusion regarding "Bakery" in the name — people would call and ask about baked goods.
but are they bringing back the lady that made the chicken salad and roast pork for the sandwiches?
Will still be Downtown Bakery to me. But then, I still call whatever business occupies the corner of 2nd Ave and 5th Cooper Diner.
Good news! The place looks spiffy already.
Bummer I love the fact that a Mexican restaurant took over a previous bakery space and didn't bother to change the name
You sound like our kinda people. Let's meet up later at Astor Riviera and relive old times.
This is great news! Also same with Cooper Diner - I met Quentin Crisp there many moons ago
How could they get rid of the painted bricks? Noooooooo!
Love you all!!! DOWNTOWN BURRITOS IS NOW AVAILABLE soon. Let's open with the B52's blasting" Downtown!!!"
B52's excited about the re-opening!!!!!!!!!!!
This re-naming is a good move: in the age of online ordering for deliver, having a name like Downtown Bakery kills their business for. anyone who doesn't live in the neighborhood and know their business. Downtown Burritos Cocina Mexicana is a great name for their search results -- everyone uptown likes food from downtown, burritos are always a big seller, especially as an alternative to Chipotle, and Cocina Mexicana signals this isn't a just bodega run by people who don't know anything about Mexican food. They should probably still keep a reference to Downtown Bakery somewhere so that former customers know, otherwise I look forward to their return.
They are such nice guys. Congrats to them for keeping this gem open.
Steph @ 9:47 AM - Thanks for reviving the memory of the dapper little icon Quentin Crisp roaming the sidewalks of a very different East Village.
I support the name change. Let everyone come enjoy the burritos not just us locals who knew the secret of Downtown Bakery.
I, too, used to regularly see Quentin Crisp on Second Avenue, he was always dressed to the nines and friendly when I said hello to him. Would also see Alan Ginsberg, Richard Hell (often together) and Johnny Ramone. It was a much more interesting time in those days!
Hello Ivan and Mario!!!!! So Missed!!!!!!!! Godspeed young men. Next generation COOL!!!! But, you are/have/was/NOW always COOL!!!!!
That you are back is enough for a "hell yeah!" Love to the family...best, Lucie Gato
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