Resto Apocalypse Reversed on Hudson Street

581 Hudson Street -- Before: Most recently occupied by Italian restaurant Valdino West, and 30 years before that by Trattoria D'Alfredo, a favorite of James Beard's. After: Now occupied by Mediterranean restaurant Meme (not to be confused with the Philadelphia restaurant of the same name), which has a particular penchant for Moroccan fare, among several other national cuisines.

[Click an any image to enlarge.]

Sixteen months ago Fork in the Road chronicled a local disaster in the restaurant industry, whereby nine storefronts that formerly held restaurants became vacant, blighting three contiguous blocks of Hudson Street in the West Village. We're happy to report that six of those retail properties have now been rented, becoming one of the most interesting new restaurant strips in the city. Here are before and after photos of a real estate miracle.

571 Hudson Street --Before: A combination grocery and falafel stand of no particular distinction. After: Lievito, a sleek new Naples-style pizzeria, with Florentine apps.

557 Hudson Street -- Before: Italian date spot Da Andrea. After: New tapas bar Caliu, from former Boqueria chef.

551 Hudson Street -- Before: Alfama, a relatively long-lived Portuguese bistro. After: New Convivio offshoot Spasso.

535 Hudson Street -- Before: Hapless Japanese Monster Sushi. After: "Healthy" pizza parlor Slice.

535 Hudson Street (same address as above, different storefront) -- Before: Neighborhood pizzeria Lucca. After: Italian bakery Irene's Dolci.

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Michael Gottlieb
Michael Gottlieb

I walk that block almost every day - and it is so good to see it alive again. But I cannot help but see it the way it looked thirty, thirty-five years ago, when Alfredo, tall, thin, balding, aquiline, gentlemanly Alfredo was still about, bustling between there and his other two places. Is this not our curse as New Yorkers, should we live long enough: everywhere we look we see ghosts. But perhaps that is not the curse. The real curse we live under is that no one wants to hear about it. And we transform ourselves into unutterable bores every time we try and tell these tales. This is New York, no one cares. And maybe no one should.


Glad to see new life in the neighborhood (I live between Charles and Perry on Greenwich)! I hope to check them all out...