06 January 2009

Matchbooks of the Lost City: East Village Edition

The former Caffe della Pace, cozy cafe on E. 7th Street. The kind of cafe that used to be quite common in lower Manhattan.

Siracusa was a nice Italian restaurant on Fourth Avenue north of Astor Place. White curtains on the window. Old-world service. Closed some time ago.

In the early '90s, as the East Village was gentrifying, Limbo, a cafe run by a group of Vassar grads, was a popular cafe for the pre-Starbuck's coffee set.

The Swiss restaurant Roettele A G on E. 7th, near Avenue A, was a popular haunt of mine in the early '90s, when I lived in the East Village. I've encountered few more charming restaurants in the City. I also had my first Beef Wellington there.


Anonymous said...

I venture to guess that Siracusa was a Sicilian restaurant. The crazy symbol is called the Trinacria, and it is the symbol of Sicily.

JM said...

I hated Limbo from the moment it opened. It was one of the first awful signs of what was coming.

Roetelle was great, we still miss it. Lots of good meals there. Even my late Dad, a total fish out of water in most Manhattan restaurants, liked it. Must have been the weissbier, which was pretty uncommon at the time in EV establishments. Or in Manhattan, generally, for that matter.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Part of me hated Limbo, too. But I have a soft spot for it because my future wife and I had some early morning dates there.

Anonymous said...

i liked Limbo because we had no phone in our apartment and we used the payphone in the back room. ran into one of the girls who worked there recently in brooklyn.


Caffe della Pace used to be a very cool place and a meeting point for many students, artists and south american east villagers. It was owned at the time by my friend Stella Magni who was from Argnetna and also co-owned Caffe del artista on Greenwich avenue. When the east village started to change in the mid nineties, buisness became very slow and Stella had to sell it.
I just started a blog where I will post images of lost New York places that I used to go to in the nineties. I was a film student in CCNY and I was always carrying a camera with me. I have great shots of old 42nd street, the meat market, etc...digitizing all of my photos will take time but it will be featured at this adress: