On 149 Sullivan Street in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood stands a family butcher shop that hasn’t changed in nearly a century. One of the last old-New York businesses to stay in one family for so long, Pino’s Prime Meats is a lauded favorite of those fortunate enough to know about it. Its steaks and sausages are cut and prepared in the finest tried-and-true Italian style, and those anonymous mass-produced things from your local supermarket’s deli don’t hold half a candle to the authentic flavor to be found at Pino’s. So with those qualifications, why is it in danger of closing for good?
Well, as reported by Jeremiah's Vanishing New York in May, the landlord of the space on Sullivan Street recently sent Pino’s a letter to inform them that their lease was abruptly going to run out, citing complaints from tenants that the butcher shop was creating a nuisance in front of the building and blocking it with boxes. Pino’s, of course, denies the claims, and has indicated that the letter is an attempt to push them out of the space, since the old standby has been grandfathered into the area for so long. Sal Cinquemani, Pino’s son, told Jeremiah Moss that “The landlord is trying to get us out, and we need people’s support.”
Since that time, many have come out in support of the hard-dying butcher shop. A petition on MoveOn.org was started by Moss to push for overcoming the eviction of Pino’s, and it currently has over 1500 signatures from area supporters. As a lawsuit progresses between the landlord and Pino’s lawyers, the petition stresses that “multigenerational mom and pop businesses like Pino’s should be protected and preserved. Don’t let Pino’s vanish!”
Here’s hoping the venerable butcher shop, one of the last extant artifacts of the area’s Italian immigrant culture, won’t disappear forever from the sidewalks of New York. The petition now has a new goal of 2,000 signatures, and remains available to be signed by any sympathizers to the plight of Pino’s Prime Meats.