Top photo and new reporting by Stacie Joy
In a surprising move on Friday, workers put up a new ad for the Peter Jarema Funeral Home on the north-facing wall at 108 Avenue B and Seventh Street.
During exterior renovations last June (first reported here), workers sandblasted away the former ad for the funeral home that's on Seventh Street between Avenue A and First Avenue.
According to work permits on file with the Department of Buildings, the landlord had approved plans to remove the "deteriorated metal cornice" and "build up and maintain existing brick parapet."
Here is the result of that work last summer...
I reached out to Danny Buzzetta, the owner/managing director of Peter Jarema.
He figured the old ad had been there for at least 60 years and still featured the phone number listed as OR 4-2568 (letters representing 6 and 7 with the known constant of the 212 area code).
Buzzetta said that someone affiliated with the restoration contacted him last year, saying that after the building finished the brickwork, he wanted to put up a new sign as an ode to an East Village "legacy" business. (We're still determining if this was someone from the landlord, Gibraltar Management Company, or the contractor. We're chasing down that lead now.)
"Honestly, I was shocked because I was very upfront that I don't have the money to pay for this, and as appreciative as the thought was, I never actually thought it was going to happen," Buzzetta said. "But lo and behold, here we are!"
We previously tried to figure out how long the ad was here. As we understand it, the corner bar dates to the mid-1930s. The funeral home was established in 1906, per its website.
Via the NYC Municipal Archives, we found this street view from the early 1940s...
There was also some thought — without much evidence — that the ad was created (or augmented) for filming 1974's "The Godfather Part II" (one of many movies and TV shows filmed at the bar).
Here's the scene (RIP Frank Pentangelli!) shot inside and outside the bar. However, we don't see any ads on the building ...