13 November 2008

No Bread at Vesuvio Bakery, But Plenty of Footwear

What is going on with Vesuvio Bakery?

The iconic Soho bakery—once owned by renowned civic activist Tony Dapolito, and most recentl operated as a kind of cafe by Andrew Veniopoulos—has been closed for five months. Signs in the window have mentioned necessary renovations and the mending of the coal ovens. OK. But it's taken a very long time. And now the shop's status has taken a decidedly weird turn.

There are shoes in the window.

That's right. Shoes. Fancy schmancy, Boho shoes. A framed sign reads: "Win a pair of hand-painted silk shoes while winning the chance to help in the fight against breast cancer. Peter Fox shoes hand-painted by Tracey Asai." Another sign indicates that 50% of sales will go to the Carol M. Baldwin Cancer Research Fund.

A good cause, I'm sure. Perhaps Veniopoulos decided to give over his store to a charitable venture while he prepares to reopen. But the whole display lends itself to the abiding rumor that Vesuvio will not see the light of day again. Inside, the tables, chairs, counter and coffee machine look ready to go. A recent story reported that the shop will reopen by Christmas. I hope so. It would make a nice present.


Anonymous said...

Andrew Veniopoulos, I believe, is the front man for the real owner, the nephew of Vinny "the chin" Gigante.

Andrew Veniopoulos operates the real estate company across the street, Bapple. I talked to Mr Gigante many times about the operation and business of the store over the past several years. He calls the shots. Everyone who lives here knows he is the owner.

There is no aspersions on Mr. Gigante. I have every reason to believe he is law-abiding, unlike his uncle. But this myth that a real estate agent currently owns Vesuvio must be exposed.

Anonymous said...

I live near by, and have never seen any work done here... good luck with thinking they'll open proper...

Anonymous said...

I have been going to the bakery for many years. I know the true reason why it has been shut down. Peter Herman, the leather goods store around the corner kept calling the Health Department on him many times for no good reasons. That S.O.B had an agenda against the bakery for many years. The Health Department NEVER shut it down and they always passed the inspection. However, the folks at Peter Herman then called the landlords and the managing agency of the building and they started doing necessary work in the basement that has dragged on for many months. It is their fault and not the Bakery's! Go voice your displeasure at Peter Herman on Thompson and the managing agency at Lawrence Properties. I know Andrew, and I know he wants to reopen.