Remember back in November, when the owner of the now-closed Havana Chelsea wrote to EfV to say that Casa Havana, the Cuban restaurant that has opened in its place is not the real deal? Of course you remember, because Eat for Victory is your favorite blog in the world and you cherish every word. Well, after two months, Thomas Vicari, Casa Havana’s owner, has a retort, in the form of an angry email to lil’ old us. He says he’s not trying to replicate the old space, which was filthy.
Of course, here it is in his own words:
Hi my name is Thomas Vicari,the owner of Casa Havana.In an article that was published in your paper dated Nov.9,2007 I would like to say that in no way we tried to copy the old Havana Chelsea Luncheonette.It took years of grease to get on those walls and the smell of rotten wood and mice and stale water and dirt.We gutted the entire place,not even a tooth pick was worth saving.We installed a LEGAL exhaust system.New floors,walls,ceiling,air conditioning,plumbing,electric,kitchen equipment,dish washing machine,and everything else that goes into a restaurant.Yes we did hire some of the old crew that worked there.We hired the same chef,thats why we said “same food at the same low prices” We did not in no way or form try to copy the Havana Chelsea Luncheonette.It would have taken us 25 years of abuse to do that.If the old owners would have paid their rent and bills and not be closed down by the Board Of Health twice a year and pay their staff and taxes and vendors and keep the place clean and free of mice and roaches,maybe they would still be in business.Sorry I can t write anymore,but I have a business to run.THANK YOU