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Former Mob Hangout Now Serves Organic Tea

By DNAinfo Staff on March 13, 2012 7:27am

By Maggie Kelly

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

SOHO — It's gone from capos to chamomile.

A Village building that was once the headquarters for Vinnie "the Chin" Gigante, head of the Genovese crime family, is now a sunny boutique offering a selection of organic loose-leaf teas, potted plants and handcrafted soaps.

Tourists from around the world visit the former Triangle Social Club, whose black-painted storefront at 208 Sullivan St. was transformed into the Sullivan Tea and Spice Company a year ago.

"People know it for what it was, and they really want to see it for themselves," owner Mark Greenberg said.

He spoke to Street Smart Video for the first of a series of videos that show former mafia hangouts and what they are now.

Greenberg and his crew have tried to preserve some of the character of Gigante's old haunt while giving it a new paint job and a more welcoming storefront, he said in the video.

They kept the tenement building's tin ceiling and mosaic tile floor. A "Members Only" sign, found wedged between two pieces of plywood in the front window, now hangs prominently on the wall. It's become a popular spot for visitors posing for photos.

"This is an infamous club," Greenberg said. "We're pretty adamant about keeping everything as it is here."