Myers of Keswick is a grocery store in the West Village that specializes in foods from the UK. This month, it was honored by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation as its Business of the Month. (For those of you not familiar with the GVSHP, it is a wonderful nonprofit organization that tirelessly works to preserve the historic buildings and character of the Village. In the past, I was a member and volunteered for the organization.) Not too long ago, I paid my own visit to the store and found it full of tempting treasures like Jammie Dodgers and custard creams.
They serve traditional foods like steak and kidney pie, shepherd’s pie,
and Scotch egg.
I find it fun to sample the different products, especially the chocolates and cookies, of which there are many yummy varieties.
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.
So the big NYC food news is that Gray’s Papaya is closing its West Village location due to a rent hike. It is iconic, known for its super cheap hot dogs. I admit, though, that I only ate there once, while a student at NYU. I’m not a big hot dog person, so it wasn’t top on my list. But it’s always sad to see an iconic restaurant, especially one in the Village, close.