Tuesday is Bluegrass night at Caffe Vivaldi in Greenwich Village, featuring the Six Deadly Venoms as well as others. But it seems there may be problems afoot, perhaps not unlike those affecting our late, departed Banjo Jim’s.
After 28 years, Caffe Vivaldi faces the serious business of lease renewal, and negotiations are under way for a new one. The twist is that the commercial space housing the Caffe has been sold to a new landlord. All these years Ishrat Ansari, Vivaldi’s owner, has sacrificed personally and financially to keep it a platform for live music and young musicians.
The place has a full liquor license, which is almost impossible to get these days, as opposed to beer and wine only. Ansari’s turned down many lucrative offers to sell Caffe Vivaldi to others wishing to use the license to convert the club into a bar. And he turned them down because he wanted to live there and enjoy doing what he loves most—providing a platform to young musicans to grow.
The rent is definitely going up, meaning he has to find new ways to generate extra revenue to pay for the new rent. We need your help and suggestions, says Mr. Ansari.
This story was largely from Caffe Vivaldi’s Facebook page.