With all the mourning over the loss of De Robertis, it’s easy to forget that another old-school Italian bakery is still going strong right around the corner. Tomorrow, Veniero’s celebrates 120 years in the East Village by giving out free cookies.
Back when we checked on New York magazine’s survey of the East Village shopping scene circa 1984, we noted that the pasticceria, opened as a pool emporium and caffe by Sorrento immigrant Antonio Veniero in 1894, is still operated by the founder’s family; although owner Frank Zerilli has passed away, his son Robert kept the place going. The ricotta cheesecake is now $8.50 a pound (up from $3 in ’84), and the pastries (formerly 60 cents to $1.50) are now more like $2.95 to $4.95.
But tomorrow, the “anniversary cookies” will be free, as the pasticceria celebrates its birthday along with another 120-year-old East Village institution, the Third Street Music School Settlement, a music school that shares the same block.
At 4pm on the sidewalk outside of Veniero’s, there’ll be caroling. And you can probably expect some Sinatra. Among the historical photos on the Veniero’s website (some of which are shown here), there’s a photo of Ol’ Blue Eyes with the inscription, “I love your pastries but you’re killing me.”
Correction: The original version of this post was revised to correct the date of the event. It’s tomorrow, Thursday, Dec. 18.