Caffe Dante on MacDougal Street is closing on Sunday for renovations. It looks as if it will reopen with a different concept. It’s sad to see it change, as it has been there so long and is one of the Village classics. I loved sitting in Caffe Dante, writing in a notebook, sipping a cappuccino or eating some delicious gelato. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been here, so much so, that when I was gone for a long time and finally returned, the man who worked behind the gelato counter would ask where I’ve been.
Change is the only constant, and with classic NYC restaurants like Gray’s Papaya and Milady’s closing, it’s no wonder that older establishments are looking for ways to survive in the days of the ludicrous rent hikes.
But nothing said the Village like Caffe Dante.
It’s funny, I took this picture a few months ago when I was walking down MacDougal Street because I said to myself that I don’t have a picture of Caffe Dante and I should take it so that I can remember it. Well, one doesn’t have to be Sylvia Browne to see that the Village is morphing from a place with ethnic diversity, class diversity, artistic and individual expression to one of stale gentrification.