Bleecker Street Is Back!
We’ve all been stuck indoors for way too long, but New York, an early epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, is coming back stronger every day, while safely re-opening many of its treasured venues. Nowhere is this more evident than the beautiful re-emergence of restaurants here on Bleecker Street. When I first moved my store here, almost forty years ago, this had been the shopping area for the local Italian-American community for nearly a hundred years with five bakeries, two fish stores, three butchers, and a large produce store with many of its fruits and vegetables outdoors in bins. There was a newsstand/candy store, a children’s clothing store, two furniture stores, and a music store that had been here since the 1920s specializing in sheet music and records of Italian-themed music. As the nature of the residents of the community changed and tourism in Greenwich Village grew, most of those businesses gave way to restaurants and specialty shops catering to visitors. As it turned out, by the late 2010s I was an old-timer here, along with Faicco’s pork Store, John’s Pizzeria, Ottomanelli’s Meat market, and Rocco’s Pastry Shop as the only five remaining who had been here more than twenty-five years and were also still run by the original founders or their families.
Times do change, and among the newcomers (and old-timers) were some very fine restaurants. When the pandemic hit, of course everyone shut down but the City eventually allowed outdoor tables to be set up on the sidewalk and into fenced-off areas of the street itself, and what a beautiful change it brought to our neighborhood! Looking outside now, I see not only tables and chairs but beautiful planters filled with flowers and trees, large colorful umbrellas, lovely while picket fencing, and a LOT of people just sitting and enjoying being out of the house while partaking of our culinary delights and sipping cool drinks. John’s Coal Oven Pizzeria, here since 1929, has several tables with canopies outside. There is also Pesce Pasta, a lovely Italian restaurant situated right next door to Faicco’s Pork Store (which is also quite open for business); Tacoma Taqueria, with some off the best Mexican food I’ve found in New York City; Baker’s Italian Restaurant; Keste Pizzeria, with its wood-fired oven and fabulous thin-crust pies, right next door to me.
So we’re all re-emerging, and my fretted instrument repair and restoration shop is as well. We’re back full time to bring and keep your guitars, banjos, and ukuleles up to and at their full potential, by appointment Monday-Friday Noon-5PM. Just drop me an email at Matt@Umanovguitars.com and we’ll get together on a time for you to come by. And of course, you can partake of our bounty of outdoor dining at the same time, get some of the relaxation you’ve been waiting for.