CAFFE DANTE Has Offfically Closed …. Sunday, March 22, 2015
Well, it’s Offical. Caffe Dante is closed .. It’s 11:55 PM Sunday March 22, 2015 … I just left Caffe Dante for the last time under the ownership of Mr. Mario Flotta .. I had to hold back a few tears saying goodbye to Mario and his two sons; Anthony & Mario Jr. .. I kid you not. Caffe Dante was like a 2nd home to me .. This is not a cliche, but a fact … I ifrst started going to Caffe Dante in July of 1985, shortly after my first trip to Italy .. I went because my friend John who had been going to Dante for a few years, told me that Caffe Dante was New York’s most authentically Italian Caffe bar none, and that being so, they served a perfect Espresso, “The Best in Town.” That’s all I had to hear and I was there .. Going on that first trip to Italy hooked me on perfect Espresso, Gelato, and anything authentically Italian, and Caffe Dante was the real deal .. Now I was hooked on something else, Caffe Dante … Ever since that day in the Summer of 85, I have had Espresso or Cappuccino at Caffe Dante almost every day fo my life since then. Everyday that I was in New York and not traveling somewhere around the World, which is about 340 days a year for 30 years.
Yes, I went to Caffe everyday, and some days two or three times in a day, in the morning, later in the afternoon and then again at the end of the night .. Caffe Dant was a place where I could go have a coffe, relax, read, write, and meet friends, and there was always someone there that I always knew, there were the waitresses some of whome became good friends, and of course there was always Mario. Mario would come in every day around noon and stay til closing about 1 AM in the morning. It was always a joy having a little chat with Mario ..
Caffe Dante just closed a little while ago. I almost cried, watching Mario take down the pictures of himself with many Celebrites who came to Caffe Dante over the years. People like; Al Pacino, Ann Bancrosft, Mel Brooks, Woody Harelson, Matt Dillon, Jerry Seinfeld, Alec Baldwin, Bob Dylan, John Tarturro, Stanley Tucci, Lilly Taylor, Michael Imperioli, Joe Panteleone, James, Gandolfini, Vinct Schiavelli, Colin Farell, and on and on …
Mario Flotta who became a partner in Caffe Dante back in 1971 .. A few years after that his partner passed away and Mario became the sole owner. So, selling the place today that was 44 years that Mario was there, 56 years of Caffe Dante’s 100 year history. Caffe Dante will still be there. Mario sold the place to Victoria Coffee of Australia. He told me, it’s still going to be a caffe, and it’s still going to be called Caffe Dante .. Yes, Mario told me this, but I know that Caffe Dante without by buddy Mario is not the same .. Mario Flotta was Caffe Dante, and a Caffe Dante without Mario could never be the same, all the regulars know that …
to be continued … Daniel Bellino Zwicke
ME & MARIO
Daniel Bellino-Zwicke & Mario Flotta Sr.
THE LAST DAY at DANTE
Raoul M., Daniel Bellino “Z” RED, Mario Flotta, and Jonathon L.
at Caffe Dante
Macdougal Street, Greenwich Village, New York
SUNDAY March 22, 2015 … The Last Day of Dante