Places that Matter

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Minetta Tavern

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Martha Cooper
Martha Cooper
Elis Shin, 2012
Italian restaurant in the Village since 1937
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Place Matters Profile

Minetta Tavern, serving Northern Italian cuisine, is one of Greenwich Village's oldest restaurants, established in 1937, on the heels, some say of a Prohibition-era speakeasy. The restaurant took its name from the small stream that once ran through the area, and the first owner Eddie Silieri took his name from the restaurant--becoming known as "Eddie Minetta" because he owned the joint for so long.

In 1995 Taka Becovich, from Montenegro, Albania, bought Minetta from its second owner, a fellow Albanian. With shared national borders and similarities in cuisines, Becavich says it's not uncommon for Albanians to own Italian restaurants, especially in Greenwich Village and Little Italy.

White tablecloths in the dining room, walls covered with celebrity photos, and the original 1937 bar decorated with exquisite black and white papercuts by a long-ago German artist give the restaurant its distinctive appearance. Illustrious New Yorkers continue to sit at the bar.