Volume 73, Number 4 | May 26 - June 1, 2004

Scoopy's Notebook

All baked out: Zito’s Bakery, at 259 Bleecker St., a Village institution since 1924, is closing its doors after Sunday because of a rise in rent, according to Mary Mokhtar, an employee for the past three years. Neither Julio Zito, 80, nor his son Anthony, could be reached at press time on Tues., but Mokhtar said that Anthony confirmed on Mon. May 24, that A. Zito Bakery would be closed after the end of the week. “He had tears in his eyes when he told me,” she said. Julio Zito, who lives in the Village, has worked at the bakery since he was a boy. “He was very depressed yesterday, but he wouldn’t tell me what was wrong,” Mokhtar said. “He worked here every day beginning at 2:30 in the morning. I don’t know what he’s going to do now,” Mokhtar said. Zito’s was a destination in the Village. Frank Sinatra would come to the bakery when he visited the neighborhood to get bread hot from the old coal-fired ovens in the basement.

New D.M.: Taking over as district manager of Community Board 3 is Susan Stetzer. The East Side board had narrowed the choice down to three candidates. Stetzer, a board member, had the inside track and was picked at Monday’s full board meeting at the board’s executive session (the public wasn’t allowed to be present for the vote). Citing rules covering executive session, Harvey Epstein, the board’s outgoing chairperson, said he wouldn’t divulge the other two candidate’s names. But we hear from a source they were a woman who some thought wasn’t quite tough enough for the job and a man whose first interview didn’t go too well, though he rebounded on the second interview. Michele Solomon, district manager of Community Board 4, was reportedly an early favorite but wasn’t among the three finalists. Stetzer is a former co-president of Coalition for a District Alternative, the club of Councilmember Margarita Lopez, Epstein, and the previous C.B. 3 chairperson, Lisa Kaplan. Stetzer ran Rocky Chin’s Council campaign in 2001 and Frank Nervo’s municipal court campaign last year. She also worked as a transit campaign organizer for Citizen Action and before that worked in educational publishing. “My politics do not belong in this job. The job is politically neutral,” Stetzer assured. A resident of W. Third St., she proudly said, “I live on the Lower East Side. I don’t live in the East Village.” She’ll have to resign from the board to take the D.M. job, which starts in July. Longtime D.M. Martha Danziger resigned last Friday but will stay on briefly as a consultant.

Whole Foods, Whole Shmoods: Whole Foods, the wildly popular organic food store that’s become a destination in Chelsea and Columbus Circle, will bring its signature mounds of produce to Union Sq. early next year. The store will open with 45,000 to 50,000 sq. ft. in the former Bradlee’s building on 14th St., just across the park from the Greenmarket — and practically next door to Garden of Eden at 7 E. 14th St., between Fifth Ave. and University Pl. But the owner of Garden of Eden, Mike Coskun, isn’t sweating it. His gourmet market caters to people who like to be addressed by name when they shop, he said. “We emphasize customer service and quality,” Coskun said. “We’re not mass-produced.” Not to mention that his prices are better, Coskun said. As for competing with the Greenmarket, a Whole Foods spokesperson said the company has been meeting regularly with Greenmarket officials and is discussing ways to sell produce from local farmers, as it does at its other locations.

CHARAS vs. dorm — online: Is Gregg Singer trying to keep the CHARAS/El Bohio building from being landmarked by “renovating” its facade? Margarita Lopez says don’t even think about it. National Development Council pulls out — they’ve had it, can’t take it anymore…. Read the latest in the continuing E. Ninth St. dorm saga this week in The Villager online, www.thevillager.com.

Correction: In his May 12 talking point column on affordable housing, Chad Marlow, president of Village Independent Democrats, the column’s author, wrote that Assemblymember Deborah Glick recently told him that if she “did not have a rent-stabilized apartment, she could not afford to live in her district.” Glick called to say that when she moved into the Village about 30 years ago, she did in fact live in a rent-regulated apartment, but that when her building went co-op in the 1980s, she bought her apartment. “I don’t want people to think I support rent regulation simply because I have a personal, vested interest,” said Glick. “I do believe it is important to keep housing affordable.”

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