A reader informed me that D'Aiuto's, the bakery on Eighth Avenue and 30th Street that has been open since 1924, and is know for its cheesecake, will close its doors for good on Sunday, Aug. 11. This, directly from members of the staff.
D'Aiuto's was one of those New York institutions that soldiered on year after years without garnering too much attention. It's claim as having "The Best Cheesecake on Earth" probably inspired more head-scratching than nods of agreement.
The store was founded by Luca and Anna D'Aiuto, Italian immigrants. Their original bakery was on 25th Street. Their son Mario took over in the 1970s. He's the guy who started promoting the "Baby Watson" cheesecake. The name was based on a picture of himself as baby. (Watson was easier for customers to understand than Mario, apparently.)
Eventually, with declining fortunes, the building was put up for sale. The business and building was apparently bought by one Ajay Patel in 2012, who was born in Nairobi and grew up in India and England. He took over D’Aiuto’s, promising to keep the business as is.