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‘A place outside of its time’: Caffe Vivaldi is closing after more than 30 years

Posted at 6:17 AM, Jun 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-24 06:17:47-04

GREENWICH VILLAGE, Manhattan— It’s been called one of the last bohemian bastions of Greenwich Village, a community space in the old European coffee house style, a haven for creativity, not commerce, created by Ishrat Ansari 35 years ago.

But now after a tripling of the rent at its Jones Street location, Caffe Vivaldi will be closing for good.

“I like to say that Caffe Vivaldi  is a kind of place outside of its time,” Zehra Ansari, the daughter of the cafe’s owner, told PIX11.

“It’s ficus was in building community, creating long lasting emotional ties. It was transactional, about making a quick buck,” she added.

Zehra took over after her father suffered a stroke several years ago.

Over the decades, celebrities mingled with up-and-coming folk singers in a warm environment where everyone’s talent was celebrated.

“Basically, it was the hub of the music community,” Jeremy Aaron, performer and creator of Greenwich Village Showcase, told PIX11.

“It was the light at the top of the mountain and I am sorry to see it go,” he added.

A group of musicians who met here at Caffe Vivaldi and formed the group "Tinto Frio" stopped by one last time to say goodbye.

“It’s very sad,” Sebastian Beltran, musician, told PIX11 News. “It’s always been a milestone in the musical life of New York.

Another band member, Marcin Jack Wisniewski, added, “We’re hopeful that this is going to continue in some vain.”