An unwelcome sign has appeared in the window of the normally welcoming Venticinque (162 5th Avenue near Degraw Street). The pleasant, petit, and unassuming cafe “will be closed for the foreseeable future,” according to the handwritten goodbye note.
Neighbor Alex Benn sent us the above photo last night. Benn lives around the corner from the Venticinque, and refers to the closing as “bad news.”
We are currently reaching out to the owners to find out the reason for the cafe’s closure, and if “foreseeable” means permanent.
According to their Facebook page, the cafe opened on October 20, 2010. The immediate area is flush with coffee shops. Both Gorilla Coffee (97 5th Avenue at Park Place) and Konditori (186 5th Avenue near Sackett Street) are in close proximity.
In 2013, Park Slope Stoop said the cafe had the “best soy latte ever.” In addition, we described the experience as follows:
“A foamy cloud of coffee flavored cream meets your lips, followed by a sip of warm, rich and full-bodied espresso; there is no choice but to stop, close your eyes and savor. A cozy space with intimate seating, a modern coffee bar, free WIFI, and one friendly barista, Venticinque serves addictive espresso drinks and fresh pastries from Colson Patisserie. The perfect spot to steal a quiet moment, Venticinque is ideal for enjoying a solitary coffee break, grabbing a muffin on the run, or camping out with your laptop for the afternoon.”
The Stoop is still a big fan of the cafe; your editor has considered it one of his haunts for quite sometime.
“Café love” is based on personal and particular taste. In the spirit of giving this place a proper sendoff — although we’d like to think there’s still a glimmer of hope — here are 25 reasons to miss Venticinque:
- They hung artwork on their walls, featured local artists, and participated in Gowanus Open Studios.
- That long, thin table against the rear back wall. It was simply a smart use of space.
- The place had a hard copy of The New York Times for you to read. You don’t see that much anymore.
- A clean, crisp logo.
- The various and sundry pleasurable sandwich board quotes.
- No pretense. Quiet. Friendly.
- The baristas let you work. There was no rush. Seriously, no leering eyes.
- There always seemed to be enough room for people who wanted to have a seat. Or someone would move over and let you share their small table with them. The regulars were nice folks.
- Good coffee. Good espresso. Good hot. Good iced.
- It was right next door to Bricolage, which means the café was in good company.
- If you took a photo of someone sitting near the window, the photo would look moody without an Instagram filter.
- The $2 bill story.
- A comfy bathroom. Hey, you know that counts.
- Warm colors on the walls.
- “The best soy latte ever.”
- The baristas were always friendly. Quietly friendly.
- The baristas had good taste in books.
- I once saw a barista reading Anna Karenina.
- I edited a significant amount of my book there in 2015.
- A barista once offered me leftover pastries when the place was closing. She told me the cafe donated unsold pastries to homeless organizations, but they couldn’t come by on that day.
- That strange, wonderful “Love = ?” on the storefront.
- You could pronounce the word “croissant” any way you wished and no one would look at you funny.
- I once received €1 back in change instead of a quarter. So I made a little money.
- They double-toasted my bagel. No questions asked.
- They ended their goodbye poster with a Heraclitus quote.
We hope to be able to update you with good news in the future. And we wish the folks of Venticinque our very best.