Something strange is going on over at John's of 12th Street, the century-old Italian eatery that has long been a bastion of solidity and tradition in the ever-morphing East Village. First of all, it seems as though the classic old neon sign has been taken down and replaced with a new facsimile.
Furthermore, and more shocking, the old red sauce joint is now vegan! Or partially anyway. They seem to still serve the Italian classic dishes, but there is also a vegan menu. Nothing against vegan food—it's not my choice, but I can see the virtues in it (if I squint a lot)—but it hardly seems a good fit for this place. Still, if it helps them remain competitive and brings more people in, I suppose it's a good thing. As long as they never scrap the old menu.
According to a comment on JVNY, the owners of John's worked on this menu for an entire year before debuting it and they are very excited about it.
UPDATE: The neon sign has not been altered. John's owner wrote in to say that it's "the same neon John's sign that's been there nearly forever, but the white background was cleaned up and painted a while back." Whew. He also said the old menu will never be abandoned, and the new vegan menu has brought in new customers.