Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Fontana. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Fontana. Sort by date Show all posts

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Activity at the former site of A. Fontana Shoe Repair

What's going on at the former location of the A. Fontana Shoe Repair on 10th Street past Second Avenue? The shop, there for 45 years, closed in late February. I didn't spot any workers or construction permits when I walked by...And there will be no sarcastic asides about bank branches, yogurt shops or Duane Reades. Anything is possible.
If you're new to this...Jeremiah has provided thoughtful coverage of Fontana's this past year.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Report: Fontana's packing it in on the LES

The owners of Fontana's will be closing their bar and performance venue at 105 Eldridge St. this spring, The Lo-Down reports today.

Proprietors Holly Ferrari, Mary Finn and Deannie Wheeler told The Lo-Down that "it has become increasingly hard to be an independent business in New York city without compromising your vision." With a new lease, their monthly rent in the space between Broome and Grand would have exceeded $30,000.

They haven't set a closing date just yet.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

More about the second location of Third Rail Coffee, opening soon on East 10th Street

As we first noted back on Dec. 31, the the second NYC location for Third Rail Coffee is taking over the former Stogo space on East 10th Street just west of Second Avenue. (Thanks to Bill the libertarian anarchist for that tip.)

Co-owner/barista Humberto Ricardo shared more about the space with us via Facebook.

"I'm really excited to get back to the East Village. It was the first place I lived on my own in New York City when I moved there," he said. In particular, he always liked this picturesque stretch of East 10th Street — near the St. Mark's Church-in-the-Bowery and the circa 1860s row houses designed by James Renwick Jr.

He was friendly with Angelo Fontana, the proprietor of the beloved A. Fontana Shoe Repair. He loved the shop, and the location. He figured it would be the perfect location for his business when the time came. (This was before the Sullivan Street location of Third Rail.)

"I started talking to [Angelo] about it in case he ever did retire. Also because he was a nice man and I have a deep respect for craftsmen who do one thing well forever," he said. "When he was forced out and into an early retirement, however, I backed away from the whole thing — too much bad karma. And I'd be damned if I was gonna be that guy.

A huge rent hike caused the shoe repair to close for good after 45 years in business in February 2008. Stogo, the vegan ice cream shop, opened in December 2008. They closed at the end of November.

"So I watched as Stogo took it and well — I'll leave the story there," he said. "I know some people still have some sore feelings about Angelo's being run out of that space. I hope that once people get a sense of who we are and what we're about ... they'll be happy about [the new coffee shop]."

He said he expects the new Third Rail to be open in the next few month.

Friday, October 17, 2008

East Village soon to exceed maximum capacity for dessert places

We've been far too curious about the fate of 159 Second Ave., the hallowed ground that was home for 27 years to the beloved A. Fontana Shoe Repair. There has been lots of activity there in recent weeks. Anyway, we started (sarcastically) speculating about the future tenant. Based on the above photo, there was one undeniable conclusion: high-end dessert place!

Well, guess what?

An unimpeachable source -- an anonymous tipster, who, for the purposes of this post, we'll call Jeremiah Moss -- passed along the following news on the location late yesterday:

I went by today and a worker told me it's going to be "a vegan ice cream shop." I saw soft-serve machines in the background. Should be open in 2-3 weeks. Could it be another Lula's Sweet Apothecary? Or competition?

Time will tell! Anyway, there's going to be an all-out dessert war in this area now (as if there wasn't one already)...FroYo vs. Vegan Ice Cream vs. TheLiteChoice vs. Chocolate By the Bald Man Who Kind of Looks like Moby vs. the M&M's we can buy at the corner bodega vs. ChikaLicious vs. Dunkin' Donuts vs. Cold Stone Creamery vs...(Meanwhile, we'll just be at Ray's.)

Oh, here's what the space looked like in August...

Let the "bald man" jokes begin!

[Jeremiah has a thoughtful post on what used to be in this space, A. Fontana Shoes.]

Saturday, December 29, 2007

East Village continues to lose its "sole"

OK, this has nothing to do with Sophie's necessarily, but stories like this are occurring all-too-often as the East Village continues to attract more Duane Reades, bank branches, soulless, overpriced condos and co-ops, and trust-funded douchebags. On the wan: community spirit, a sense of a neighborhood, which Sophie's and Mona's supplies.

The Villager has the story this week on 75-year-old Angelo Fontana who has been repairing shoes in the East Village for 40 years. His shoe repair shop is at 159 Second Avenue at the southwest bend of Stuyvesant Street.

As the paper sadly reports:

But his lease expires at the end of December, and the landlord wants to up the rent from an already-steep $4,000 a month from a raise just nine months ago to an unworkable $5,500 per month. So Fontana will be forced into “early” retirement, a prospect that he does not relish.
“I would like to stay another 10 years, well maybe five years,” he stated. “I’m used to working all my life. I don’t want to stop now. I don’t know what I’ll do. I’m not the kind of person who sits and watches TV all day. I like to be active,” he said.
If he could, he would find another shop in the area because he loves the neighborhood, but rents everywhere are sky-high.
“Soon there won’t be any professionals left,” he predicted. “No more shoemakers, tailors — all gone. People now don’t know nothing,” he declared.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Week in Grieview

[Zoltar's fortunes; and the Bruins lost to the Flyers this night. Photo by Derek Berg]

Stories posted on EVG this past week included...

So long to the Sock Man on St. Mark's Place (Friday)

20 St. Mark's Place, home of the Grassroots Tavern, has been sold (Thursday)

Empire Biscuit reduces business hours for the month of January (Thursday)

Out and About with Spike Polite (Wednesday)

Guayoyo has been closed now for one year on First Avenue (Wednesday)

The former New York Macaroni Co. space is for rent on St. Mark's Place (Monday)

Fontana's closing this spring on Eldridge Street (Thursday)

More about the Mamoun's Falafel move on St. Mark's Place (Monday)

Ruffian is now open on East Seventh Street (Tuesday)

This block of Avenue A is awfully quiet, and why is Lucy's closed? (Tuesday)

Rite Aid relocates ahead of new development on Avenue D (Monday) ... and the demo permits are now on file (Thursday)

The L train was fun while it lasted (Thursday)

Empellón al Pastor divides the bar and tacos on Avenue A (Tuesday)

Boutique office building on East Houston and Lafayette at BP site a go (Monday)

The Sweet Generation storefront turns 1 (Monday)

At the opening-night celebration for Punk Magazine (Friday)

Former Gothic Cabinet Craft space for rent (Wednesday)

Would you be surprised to learn that the East Houston Reconstruction Project is further delayed? (Friday)

Rainbows! DOUBLE rainbows! (Sunday)

... and RIP David Bowie (Monday)

[Mural in First Park by @hektad._official & @pictoform]

[Mural outside the 2nd Avenue F by @hektad._official]

Monday, September 14, 2015

The shoe repair post that you've been waiting for

For rent signs arrived Friday at the former A.K. Shoe Repair on East Ninth Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

The shop closed at the end of August. The proprietor told DNAinfo that his rent went from $2,000 to $4,500. Coupled with other expenses, he said that he couldn't make the business work any longer.

At the end of July, Alex Shoe Repair closed on Second Avenue between East Third Street and East Fourth Street. The owner was paying $4,000 a month in rent. The new asking rent from Icon Realty is $14,000.

Other neighborhood cobblers to close in recent years include David's Shoe Store on East Seventh Street and A. Fontana Shoe Repair on East 10th Street ... while East Village Shoe Repair closed on St. Mark's Place, only to relocate to Bushwick.

Here's DNAinfo with an explanation for the cobbler closures:

Across the city, experienced cobblers are closing the doors of their small businesses as they see their rents rise, potential customers buying new shoes rather than repairing old ones, and a dearth of apprentices interested in learning their trade.

As for who's left in the East Village, we counted four, including two shops with Alex in the title (neither are related to the Alex who closed on Second Avenue…)

Alex Shoe Repair, 99 Avenue C between East Seventh Street and East Sixth Street…


Alex Shoe and Watch Repair (and barber shop!), 71 First Ave. between East Fifth Street and East Fourth Street…


Firm Shoe Repair, 116 Fourth Ave. at East 12th Street…


Steve's Express Shoe Repair, 311 E. 14th St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue…


Ugh… forgot this one...

14th Street Shoe Repair Shop, 428 E. 14th St. between Avenue A and First Avenue…


And there are a few shops on the periphery of the neighborhood, such as Star Shoe & Watch Repair at 74 Bleecker between Crosby and Broadway … and John’s Shoe Repair at 30 Irving Place between East 15th Street and East 16th Street.

I'd take my business to John's when I worked nearby. Once, I brought in a pair of shoes that another shop kinda screwed up. The proprietor looked at the shoes, and with a great deal of disgust, said, "The person who did this wasn't a cobbler." He paused. "He was a butcher."

Friday, May 8, 2015

RIP Patrick Salt Ryan

[Photo via Facebook]

We were very sorry to hear that East Village resident Patrick Salt Ryan died suddenly on April 22. He was 45.

Ryan, a singer-songwriter, also tended bar at Fontana's down on Eldridge Street. He and his wife, Jessica Perez-Ryan, lived on Avenue A and East Ninth Street.

In September 2013, word circulated in Tompkins Square Park that someone had apparently stolen Giuseppi Logan's saxophone. Upon hearing this, Ryan gave Giuseppi a tenor sax that someone had left behind at the bar several years earlier.

There's a Patrick Salt Ryan Memorial Show next Friday at Hank's Saloon in Brooklyn… all proceeds at the door will go to help out Jessica.

Monday, January 26, 2015

[Updated] An in-progess look at East Village bars (and a few other places) open tonight

[Randomly, earlier]

Well, someone asked us on Twitter.

Please add to the (not exhaustive) list in the comments... and we'll update, unless we go out. Confirmed so far:

Avenue A:
Common Ground
Flinder's Lane
Boulton & Watt
The Library

Avenue B:
The Roost
Dream Baby
Boxcar Lounge
Gruppo until 8 p.m.

Avenue C:
The Wayland
ABC Beer Co.
Edi & the Wolf
Summit Bar

First Avenue:
The International
Coal Yard
Three of Cups
Hearth (as long as the subways remain up and running)
Tile Bar
Spiegel (at East Second Street)

Second Avenue:
Professor Thom's
Lit Lounge

• William Barnacle Tavern between First Avenue and Second Avenue (live Irish music)
• Blue & Gold East Seventh Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue
• St. Mark's Ale House on St. Mark's Place between Second Avenue and Third Avenue
• The Grassroots on St. Mark's Place between Second Avenue and Third Avenue
• East Village Social on St. Mark's Place between Avenue A and First Avenue
• Lavagna on East Fifth Street near Avenue B
• Sophie's on East Fifth Street near Avenue A
• Josie's on East Sixth Street between Avenue A and Avenue B
• The Immigrant on East Ninth Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue
• Big Bar (until Dax needs to leave) East Seventh Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue
• La Palapa on St. Mark's Place between First Avenue and Second Avenue
• Jimmy's No. 43 on East Seventh Street between Second Avenue and Cooper Square
• In Vino on East Fourth Street between Avenue A and Avenue B
• Double Down on East 12th Street near Avenue A
• Solas on East Ninth Street between Second Avenue and Third Avenue
• Cake Shop on Ludlow Street
• Fourth Street Food Co-Op (until 9:30)
• Von, 3 Bleecker St. near the Bowery
• Parkside East Houston and Attorney
• Fontana's, 105 Eldridge
• Jeromes at Rivington F+B, 155 Rivington
• Pete's Tavern (a little outside the neighborhood... open until 11:30)

And remember — the Mayor says there won't be any food deliveries made after 11 p.m.!

Friday, December 20, 2013

More details on DF Mavens, opening next spring on Second Avenue and St. Mark's Place

As we first reported back on Oct. 17, that prime northwest corner space on Second Avenue and St. Mark's Place has a new tenant — a retail outpost of DF Mavens...

And yesterday, the DFM folks sent along the official news release about this outpost...

Situated on a prime block at the corner of Second Avenue, DF Mavens’ flagship store will open in the spring of 2014 and showcase the brand’s award-winning line of dairy-free ice creams. The store will feature a wide range of vegan snack and beverages, including a full line of baked goods, fresh juices and coffee.

“We’re very excited to open our first dedicated storefront and plant our flag in the vibrant East Village food scene,” states Malcolm Stogo, a world-renowned ice cream consultant and founder of DF Mavens. “Our new retail outpost will allow us to bring delicious, dairy-free ice cream to a greater segment of New Yorkers who want vegan-friendly dessert options in time for the warm weather.”

DF Mavens also announces that four of its pint-sized non-dairy ice creams are now being carried in Whole Foods Markets at Union Square, Columbus Circle, Bowery and Tribeca. These flavors include: Shot of Java, New Orleans Salted Praline, Del Lago Chocolate and Key Lime Pie.

DF Mavens pint-sized offerings include 9 flavors that feature the highest quality ingredients and are categorized by soy-based, coconut-based or sugar-free varieties. Designed to taste as good as any cream-based formula, each flavor is handcrafted by Stogo himself, who has consulted on brands like Haagen Dazs, Stonyfield’s Frozen Yogurt and Colombo.

As you may recall, Stogo, the vegan ice cream shop on East 10th Street just west of Second Avenue, closed for business in November 2012.

Stogo opened in December 2008 at the site of the beloved A. Fontana Shoe Repair, forced out after 45 years due to a big rent hike.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Stogo is closing on East 10th Street

Stogo, the Vegan ice cream shop on East 10th Street just west of Second Avenue, is closing on Sunday.

The shop first announced the move yesterday via Twitter. DNAinfo's Serena Solomon following up today, reporting:

With the business battling high rent all year, eight days without income during the post-hurricane blackout and the winter a bad time for sales, Stogo's owners made the call to close.

"We were talking about closing, but [Hurricane Sandy] put a nail in the coffin," said the source, who works at the store on East 10th Street between Second and Third Avenue.

"We were going to try and fundraise to move, but then Sandy happened and I didn't want to ask people to help move our shop when people were homeless and had lost everything," the source added.

Stogo opened in December 2008 at the site of the beloved A. Fontana Shoe Repair, forced out after 45 years due to a big rent hike.

[Jeremiah's Vanishing New York]

Stogo's co-owner is Rob Sedgwick, the brother of actress Kyra.

Friday, May 18, 2012

[Updated] Dream of a vanishing Joe Strummer

I had a dream recently that someone painted over the Joe Strummer mural on the side of Niagara. And when I saw it — while inexplicably riding a bike the wrong direction on Seventh Street (no comments! This was a dream!) — a new mural was in progress. It was black and purple and looked like a bruise.

And it was going to be Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones.

I took photos and rushed home to post the photos. (Traveling now with the traffic, harumpf!) I was in such a hurry, I didn't stop at the site of a construction accident. (No one was injured.)

As far as I can remember, this was my first blog-related dream. I recalled a few dreams that Jeremiah Moss shared at Vanishing New York, like the one about A Fontana Shoe Repair.

Unbeknownst to me he has a new blog — Dreams of the Vanishing New York.

Per the description: "Dreams that come in sleep about lost New York places, people, and things, about anxieties and wishes for what could be lost or regained."

Updated: Oh! Jeremiah posted my dream yesterday after I mentioned it in an email.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Traveling the East Village streets of late summer 2007 (and who wants to go see "Mr. Bean's Holiday"?)

I was looking for something in the East Village on Google Maps. Never realized Google's EV street views are a little dated... How dated? Well, I took a trip over to the Loews Village VII to see what was playing...

Given the films on the marquee ("Rush Hour 3!" "Mr Bean's Holiday!") this has to be late August or early September 2007. You know, it's not really all that long ago...but if you start to take a tour of the neighborhood, you see how much has changed... Momofuku didn't rule First Avenue... the former CBGB space is still for rent...there were more record stores than froyo joints on St. Mark's Place...several glassy towers were holes in the ground or just on the way up... Here are a few highlights via screenshots of the street views...:

The Toll Brothers tower at 110 Third Ave. ...

Five Roses Pizza on First Avenue...

The Kurowycky butcher shop is still in business; the International has yet to reopen on First Avenue...

Fontana shoe repair is still open on 10th Street...

Alt Coffee open next to Doc's on Avenue A...

The spacecraft had yet to land...

Cemusa bus shelter going up on Avenue A...

Buy a CBGB T-shirt...

No bank on 10th Street and Third Avenue...

The A Building rises...

Before the darkness on 13th Street...

The Sylvia del Villard Program of the Roberto Clemente Center at 13th Street and Avenue B. Now home to this.

Eddie's Tower of Toys stood...

No John Varvatos in the CBGB space...

Love still Saves the Day at Second Avenue and Seventh Street...

Take a spin on Google Maps for may even see someone on the street that you recognize.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

You're so vain, you probably think this post is about you

From the Post today:

Going to college in New York City has never looked better. The city's 50 hottest college students -- vamping it up in steamy poses sure to distract even the most dedicated bookworm -- will soon appear on campus newsstands as a glossy magazine debuts May 4.

"We wanted to photograph interesting, hot people that make going to school in New York City so awesome," said Kane Sarhan, 22, a Pace University junior and publisher of the magazine, The College Gossip Chronicles, and its accompanying Website,

And the paper lets us meet a few of the 50:

Alex Casticas, 23

junior studying business administration at Fordham

Career Ambition: Working in biotechnology

Home: Switzerland

Sex Appeal: "My accent is what makes me stand out here," says Casticas, who admits he can play it up to seduce the ladies when he parties in SoHo or the Meatpacking District. He stays fit by doing martial arts, water-skiing and wakeboarding.

Ashton Fontana, 20 (pictured)

sophomore communications major at Fordham University

Home: Napa, California

Career Ambition: Fashion writer/magazine editor

Sex Appeal: "My Cali personality with my New York attitude. I know how to have a great time and look even greater doing it," says the beach beauty, who stays in shape by taking hip hop and lyrical dance classes.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Kevin Bacon LOVES that delicious vegan ice cream at Stogo!

In this week's edition of My New York in the New York Post (this feature isn't online..), the Bacon Brothers -- Kevin and his, uh, brother -- discuss their favorite things in the city...And on Kevin's list: The vegan ice cream at Stogo on East 10th Street near Second Avenue, the former site of the beloved A. Fontana Shoe Repair...Anyway, Kevin says it's good stuff! That vegan ice cream. Wow, what a great plug for this shop! It's nice that a big-name actor is so supportive of such a place...

Of course, Kevin doesn't mention that Stogo is owned by his brother-in-law. Or maybe he disclosed this fact and the Post didn't include it...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Scene in Stogo

Blogger, seeing what has become of A. Fontana Shoe Repair at 159 Second Ave. at 10th Street and unable to resist the pull of curiosity, steps out of the cold and into the ice cream shop. The door is open. A cashier stands behind the counter while a woman, bundled into sweaters, browses the flavors. The owner, a salt-and-pepper, Pacific Northwesty kind of guy, puts up his hands.

Owner: 10 more minutes. We’ll be open in 10 more minutes.

Blogger: OK. I was just wondering, I’m a blogger. I write about new places. And I was wondering what Stogo means. Are you Swedish?

Owner: The ice cream is all organic.

Blogger: I thought maybe it was Swedish, with the name Stogo. Sounds kind of Swedish. Where is it from?

Owner: We use agave instead of sugar. But we’re not really open yet. 10 more minutes.

Blogger: Is this the only store, or are there more?

Owner: This is the beginning of a business. Please. We’ll be open soon. 10 more minutes. Please. Please.

Blogger exits back into the cold, wondering who would open an ice cream shop in December, around the corner from a dozen other fro-yo and ice cream shops, and wishing for the perk of a free sample.

Stogo is a go

Well, now! Stogo, which took over the former A. Fontana Shoe Repair at 159 Second Ave. and 10th Street, is now apparently ready for action! A tipster writes:

It wasn't open when I went by, but all the paper was down and everything looked ready for business. The signs inside say it's an organic, gourmet, dairy-free ice cream place. It looks like every other boring fro-yo joint, with space-age white stools and blonde wood. Very swedish -- like Ikea.

Previous Stogo coverage on EV Grieve here.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The plot thickens at reported vegan ice cream shop

Just a mere three weeks ago, a mysterious Stogo sign appeared at the former A. Fontana Shoe Repair at 159 Second Ave. and 10th Street. As we reported in a worldwide exclusive, the beloved shop was becoming a vegan ice cream joint. And now? Another Stogo sign has appeared! This one over the front door.

So much progress at this location the past month! But! We still are searching for answers. Could this be the Stogo as in consultant Malcolm Stogo of the Ice Cream University, whose team lost a heartbreaker Saturday versus Milk and Cookies Community College? We don't really have any idea. But we promise to continue to take this matter very seriously!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Developing!: A sign appears at 159 Second Ave.

A few weeks ago, we passed along word that the former A. Fontana Shoe Repair at 159 Second Ave. and 10th Street was becoming a vegan ice cream joint. Well, the front windows have been papered over for weeks. And then! A sign just appeared, as this photo from our tipster shows:

Stogo? As in consultant Malcolm Stogo of the Ice Cream University?

Whether this place has anything to do with Stogo, we'll share his bio anyway -- because it's delicious! (heh):
For the last 25 years, Malcolm Stogo has been in the forefront in developing today's ice cream concepts leap years ahead of the industry. He is the author of Ice Cream & Frozen Desserts, co-author of Ice Cream Cakes, and author of a new book titled How To Succeed in the Incredible Ice Cream Business. He is President of Malcolm Stogo Associates, an international ice cream consulting firm, as well as founder of Ice Cream University, a seminar series and publishing company on ice cream production, and marketing and publisher of Batch Freezer News and Ice Cream Store News, two quarterly newsletters on everything one needs to know about ice cream production and marketing. In the 1980's, he co-owned Ice Cream Extravaganza (New York), the largest single frozen dessert operation ($1,500,000 in sales). He also invented the chocolate dipped waffle cone now being produced and sold all over the world.

I can't get past Ice Cream University. ICU? Go Defibrillators! (And do they have a football team?)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Speculating about the future of 159 E. Second Ave.

We've been keeping our eye on 159 E. Second Ave., the hallowed ground that was home for 27 years to the beloved A. Fontana Shoe Repair. There has been lots of activity there.  A tipster reported last night that the plywood was down, though the windows are still covered with paper. This is what we spotted earlier with our special spy-cam:

Sure, we could just do a little reporting and find out what's going in here...but let's just wildly speculate!...Because no matter how ridiculous our guesses, we probably won't be too far off! Based on the kitcheny-type wares, I'm going with a high-end dessert shop. Because this area desperately needs more dessert places!

At least there's good news at the tailor shop next door, as Jeremiah reported.