Rumors circulated earlier this year that a prime, neon-lit slice of the old East Village at 174-176 First Avenue, which has been home to De Robertis Caffé since 1904, would soon disappear because the parcel was on the market for $12 million. At the time, the De Robertis family dismissed the story and said their namesake bakery would remain open, but now our friends at Bedford + Bowery report the sad news that the place has been sold and the ovens will be turned off permanently on December 5.
The site says that various health concerns, the economy, and other factors brought the De Robertis family to a consensus to sell. This is dismal news for lovers of the place’s two kinds of cannoli, espresso, and sfogliatelle, but also for those who found the old shop, along with its mosaic-tiled floors and pressed tin ceilings. The bakery remained unchanged for so many decades that it served as a backdrop for scenes from movies like Malcolm X and Manhattan Murder Mystery. De Robertis Caffé also appeared in the first episode of Sex and the City.
There is no information available on the new owners’ plans for the space.