Fixture of Willamsburg’s Italian neighborhood for 38 years
Riding a wave of Southern Italian immigration to Williamsburg that crested in the 1960s, Caffe Capri — name checking an island at the mouth of the Bay of Naples popular with day-trippers — opened February 14, 1974 on Graham Avenue. It peddled espresso beverages of an authenticity difficult to find at the time, and various packaged cookies and cakes from the old country.
The place was founded by a brother and sister, Joseph Rinaldi and Sarah Devita, near the corner of Withers Street, inspired by the Italian coffee houses of Little Italy, and their specialty is iced coffee made with coffee ice, so it doesn’t get diluted. Sarah is also famous for her ricotta-rich cannoli filling, which she puts in shells bought from a bakery.
Last year filmmaker Casimir Nozkowski made a reverent short film about the couple.