Gaia Italian Cafe Closed Until Mid-February

Gaia Italian Cafe Still Open; Future is In Doubt

Gaia Italian Cafe, a hidden gem on East Houston Street, may or may not be closing.

Liquor License Apps: Gaia, Mexicue, Cheeky’s, Saro

Beer or wine with that braseola panini? Gaia Cafe seeks a permit.

The agenda for the July meeting of the Community Board 3 SLA Committee is out, and there are requests from a few local establishments worth noting:

  • Gaia Italian Cafe, 251 E. Houston St., is seeking a beer and wine license. This cafe, run by recent Italian immigrant Gaia Bagnasacco and stocked with shipments of meat and cheese imported weekly from her home country, has gained many loyal patrons in the community since opening in February.
  • Mexicue, 106 Forsyth St., is seeking a beer and wine license. As we reported earlier this month, the Mexican/barbecue fusion food truck is going brick and mortar in the LES later this year; its owners signed a 10-year-lease for a 2,000-square-foot restaurant between Grand and Broome streets. Another Mexicue is also slated for Midtown West, set to open next month.
  • Cheeky Sandwiches, 35 Orchard St., is seeking a beer and wine license. Proprietor Din Yates brought New Orleans po’ boys and other Southern fare to the LES in early 2010, and just announced plans to expand to Brooklyn’s DeKalb Market.
  • Saro, 102 Norfolk St., is seeking to upgrade its beer and wine permit to a full liquor license. This tiny bistro, which showcases Balkan food, has worked hard to establish itself in the neighborhood since opening in November.

The meeting takes place Monday, July 18, at the JASA/Green Residence, 200 E. 5th St. at 6:30 p.m.

Gaia Cafe, Liquor Permits News, APL Reviews

The housemade brioche with Nutella is just one of many reasons to wander into Gaia Italian Cafe.

A roundup of restaurant and nightlife news around the neighborhood today.

  • East Houston Street newcomer Gaia Italian Cafe gets some love for its vegetarian options, and this exclamatory remark: “This is Italian Italian food.”
  • This week’s Community Board 3 SLA committee meeting covered a lot of ground: bad news for the bar formerly known as Aces and Eights (formerly known as Mo’ Pitkin’s) and Clinton Street’s CultureFix, but good news for newcomers Masala Wala and Zoe.
  • Early reviews of Orchard Street’s APL are in, and they’re pretty good all around.
  • Something’s going on with the produce market under the Manhattan Bridge.

Gaia Italian Cafe: Homemade Food and Family Feel

For Gaia Bagnasacco, the force behind the new Gaia Italian Café on East Houston Street, running her restaurant is more than a business; it’s personal.

Being a Gaia’s customer is a bit of a commitment: the chef knows your name, what you like and what you ate last time you came in, which was probably yesterday. If the food you order takes a little while to prepare, she’ll plop down a little dish of something you didn’t order to tide you over.

Gaia Italian Cafe

Authentic Italian panini and house-made specialty dishes, salads and sweets. Cured meats and cheeses imported weekly from Italy are also available for purchase in bulk. Opened in February 2011 by proprietor Gaia Bagnasacco.

251  E. Houston St.


Open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday; closed on Sunday


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