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You Told Us: Mimi's Pizza Closing Has Locals Outraged

By Shaye Weaver | July 5, 2016 5:35pm
 The Vanacore family said they had to close Mimi's Pizza because rent had become unaffordable.
The Vanacore family said they had to close Mimi's Pizza because rent had become unaffordable.
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DNAinfo/Shaye Weaver

You Told Us is a regular feature where we highlight comments from users in the communities DNAinfo covers.

UPPER EAST SIDE — Mimi's Pizza, a neighborhood staple for five decades, closed last Sunday because its owners couldn't negotiate an affordable rent with their landlord.

By Friday, the Vanacore family had auctioned off their kitchen equipment and furniture and moved out of the space at the corner of Lexington Avenue and 84th Street that had been home to Mimi's for 51 years.

Readers took to Neighborhood Square to express outrage and mourn the loss.

► "So without Mimi's and the other small family businesses, do we have to go to Duane Reade, Starbucks, or a bank to get our dry cleaning done, or copy some letters or flyers, or buy dog food or get our dog groomed, or have a pizza (oh, that's right, only frozen), or get flowers for a friend in mourning? Where do we go to enjoy a reasonable meal with friends in an intimate environment? Not here, dear! So very sad. Where has the color and texture of NYC gone?" one reader said.

► "How much do you want to bet that the space will now remain vacant for 5 years, as so often happens in cases of Landlord Derangement Syndrome? My condolences to the Vanacores," another wrote.

► "The print shop right next to Mimi's was just forced to close. When all the mom and pop stores are closing in blocs, you can be sure the whole five-story building above will be demolished, and a big new high-rise will be built on the site. Never fails," a commenter said.

► "It is certainly no longer the NYC I loved. I feel like I'm living in a high price shopping mall. With the creative community having a difficult time continuing to live in NYC, I have friends moving to Detroit, Baltimore, and especially Cleveland. The old industrial cities provide backdrops for us. Reminds me of old New York," one person wrote.

► "Score another one for the landlords, developers and their fellow parasites. And let's not forget the politicians they own. Oh, yes - and the neighborhood's One Per Centers whose hedge funds keep them on top of the heap," another said.

► "I moved into the neighborhood in 1969 when it was a vibrant area with small retail stores and family restaurants... mostly German and Hungarian. It had character and families could make a living running their businesses. Now it is a sterile area like a midtown business zone thanks to the developers who have torn down the small, affordable buildings. They are cramming ever more people into the large apartment buildings which have taxed the infrastructure and services of  the neighborhood. So sorry whenever a family owned business closes. I am sick of the banks, drug stores and overpriced supermarkets! Where has my city gone?

► In addition...we should all patronize the small businesses that are still struggling to stay in the area. Let's give them every chance to stay in business!" another local said.