From Bowery Boogie:

Breaking: ‘Cup & Saucer’ Ending Service on Monday After Decades on Canal Street

Posted on: July 12th, 2017 at 12:39 pm by

Say goodbye to that classic 1940s Coca-Cola sign at the corner of Eldridge and Canal Streets. Word on the block is that the fabled luncheonette, Cup & Saucer, is hanging it up. It’s closing shop after decades serving the neighborhood, thanks to a steep rent hike.

And there’s no time for you to process this information, either, as the last day of business is Monday.

Every few years, rumors surface detailing a demise that was continuously eluded. Especially after the building reportedly sold several years ago, creating much uncertainty whether the business would actually survive. Co-owner John Vasilopoulos told Metro in 2015 that he hoped the new owner would maintain the 5-year lease arrangement of the predecessor to keep afloat. Then there was the recent upstairs fire back in January, which no doubt threatened the operation. This time, however, it appears the talk is true. A tipster who frequents the establishment daily was informed by staff of the closure. Apparently, they started telling all the regular customers today.

We don’t really know what to say. The Cup & Saucer is a no-frills Lower East Side treasure that serves all strata of the community. “Giving the people of New York quality food, fast delivery, and great customer service,” as its website prominently touts. On any given morning, you find construction workers, commuters, travelers, and locals mingling at the countertop.

It’s been under the same ownership for nearly thirty years. Partners Nick Castanos (also a cook) and John Vasilopoulos took over the business in 1988, yet local lore suggests the corner kitchen dates back some 77 years. The duo also owns a diner in Ridgewood, Queens.

Our tipster surmises that the luncheonette also fell victim to the effects of failed development (i.e. the Canal Tower) and the encroaching Chinatown Bus situation that’s multiplying along Canal Street between Forsyth and Allen.

Visual Documentation of the distinguishing interior features of the now-bygone The Cup & Saucer Luncheonette (from Untapped Cities.com)

Iconic NYC Diner “The Cup & Saucer” Closing Down After Nearly 70 Years

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New York Now Scavenger Hunt
Saturday, June 17, 2017
Check-in: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Hunt: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Closing Reception: 5:30 – 7:30 PM

Open House New York challenges you to show how much you know about New York’s recent past!

A lot has changed in New York City since the first Open House New York Weekend took place on October 11 and 12, 2003. From the High Line and Hudson Yards to Citibike and the Second Avenue Subway, the city and our experience of it has changed dramatically over the past fifteen years. 40,000 new buildings were built, 450 miles of new bike lanes were laid, and more than a third of New York’s neighborhoods were rezoned.

Through it all, Open House New York was there, opening doors and giving New Yorkers access to the changing city. Now Open House New York invites you to test your knowledge about this vibrant and volatile period in New York’s history! To celebrate the 15th anniversary of OHNY Weekend, Open House New York has organized a citywide scavenger hunt of recent architecture, planning, and development. Travel the five boroughs while answering clues that send you to New York’s most breathtaking new buildings. Relive some of the city’s most heated preservation battles and uncover the policies and politics that shaped contemporary New York. Join us in celebrating a city that remains the greatest metropolis in the world!

To learn more about how the hunt works, click here.

Closing Reception Hosted by

$35 per person. Advance registration is required, and early registration is encouraged as the number of participating teams is limited.




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Sun 12 2016 , by

Jim’s Shoe Repair

Old-School Charm at Jim’s Shoe Repair

from The New York Times: On a recent Thursday afternoon, Jim’s Shoe Repair, at 50 East 59th Street between Park and Madison, was packed. Customers — surrounded by old-school shoeshine chairs with brass pedestals and other objects from bygone eras like an oversize gold register from the 1940s — waited to speak with Joe Rocco, 58, or his son Andrew Rocco, 27. Interactions were unhurried and convivial.

Michael Kahn, a substitute teacher who lives on the West Side of Manhattan, was there to collect his too-tight black sandals he had taken in for stretching. He saw Joe, smiled, and asked, “How’re you doing Joe?” Handing Mr. Kahn his sandals, Joe said, “All good here, and always good to see you.”

Mr. Kahn went to try them on in an individual waiting booth, one of six vintage seating areas, each with a padded chair and a half-door. The booths, lined up against the wall, were part of the original store, which used to be just across the street. Vito Rocco, Joe’s grandfather and an Italian immigrant, opened it in 1932, and it has remained a family business.

The sandals were still lightly snug, and more stretching was needed. But a return trip didn’t seem to bother Mr. Kahn. “I’ve been coming in since 1970,” he said, “and I come for the company as much as I do for the craftsmanship.” …

It was in 2014 when the adjoining Duane Reade was set to expand into the shop. A longtime customer and lawyer, Bill Brewer, organized an effort to save the place. In early 2015, Joe signed a new eight-year lease. “Shutting the store would mean saying goodbye to my grandfather’s dream,” Joe said.

That dream — owning a cobbler shop with the highest quality repairs — came to fruition for Vito Rocco over 80 years ago. He called it Jim’s, thinking an American name would bring in more business than a shop named Vito’s. It moved to its current location in 1940 and now handles a few thousand pairs of shoes at a time, with the help of 10 craftsmen.

Joe’s father, also named Joe, now 86, works part time attending to customers while his aunt Cordelia, 82, handles the register. Meanwhile, the next generation is training to take over: Andrew’s two younger brothers, Thomas, 20, and Joey, 19, come in on school breaks and some Saturdays.

A few days later, Giovanna Federico-Becker, a jeweler from TriBeCa who discovered Jim’s six months ago, waited patiently in a line that extended to the door. “This is a genuine place that’s not trying to be fancy, and my shoes come out of here looking like I just bought them,” she said. “I’m new here, but I consider myself a regular.”

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