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Cafe Pick Me Up Will Keep Menu Intact in New Home, Owner Says

By Lisha Arino | May 27, 2015 4:29pm
 A sign announcing Cafe Pick Me Up's closure and relocation on May 27, 2015.
A sign announcing Cafe Pick Me Up's closure and relocation on May 27, 2015.
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DNAinfo/Lisha Arino

EAST VILLAGE — Café Pick Me Up customers won’t have to stray too far from Tompkins Square Park after the 20-year-old coffee shop closes this weekend.

A version of the beloved café, at 145 Avenue A, will live on at Gnocco, the owners’ Italian eatery located across from the park on East 10th Street near Avenue B, they said.

“We know this won’t be able to replace the memories and location of the original Café Pick Me Up, but we think this will at least partially fill the vacuum of a chapter that lasted so many years,” the owners wrote on both Café Pick Me Up and Gnocco’s Facebook pages, first announcing the move.

Gnocco has only been open for dinner, but beginning June 3, it will expand its hours and will start serving most of Café Pick Me Up’s coffee and food offerings, including pastries, sandwiches and omelets, said Gian Luca Giovanetti, who co-owns both locations with Pierluigi Palazzo and Clemente Valguarnera.

Daytime customers will also be able to order pizza at lunchtime, Giovenetti added. Gnocco will be open for breakfast, lunch and delivery every day starting at 10 a.m., he said.

The café owners made the “painful” decision to let the shop’s lease expire because they could not afford a rent hike and high property taxes, Giovenetti said.

Gnocco seats 74 people, he said, and includes a backyard outfitted with a few power outlets.

“This is a pretty large place. It’s very comfortable [and has] a lot of seats,” he said.

The owners will celebrate opening day by offering customers free coffee on June 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., they said on Facebook.

Cafe Pick Me Up has set up shop in two adjacent storefronts, one on the corner of East Ninth Street and Avenue A, where the lease is expiring and another at 147 Avenue A, which still has five years left on its lease, Giovenetti said. He said the owners have not decided what to do with the remaining space.