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Vesuvio Bakery (now Birdbath)

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A reminder of Prince Street's past as an Italian neighborhood

Place Details

Borough : Manhattan
Neighborhood : SoHo
Commercial, Food & Drink

Place Matters Profile

Few hints remain that Prince Street, now in the heart of the trendy SoHo district, was once an Italian shopping street. The Vesuvio Bakery is a lone survivor--its bread has been a neighborhood staple since 1920.

With a layer of cracked green paint on the trim around its big display window, the Vesuvio Bakery storefront is still an unapologetic antique amidst SoHo's glossy boutiques, galleries and upscale restaurants. And, until its 2003 transformation to a bakery-café, the simple store contained only a counter, a scale, and a long-discontinued model cash register. A shuttered, swinging door led to the baking facilities in the back.

Anthony Dapolito, whose parents founded the bakery, recalled a time when every apartment building in this neighborhood had a storefront--usually Italian--at its base. He worked at his father's bakery most of his life, since the days when he woke up on cold mornings at five o'clock to...

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Michael Gotkin

A rare original storefront that is beautifully maintained. Still family-run, still bakes on the premises and displays bread on the sidewalk--about the only old thing left in SoHo. Proprietor Anthony Dapolito is a legendary figure in local politics. [Changed hands in 2003.]

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