Last week Greenwich learned from chef Mike Pietrafeso he would not be renewing his lease at 112 Riverside Ave, where he has operated Ada’s Kitchen + Coffee since 2016. He cited a rent hike as the reason and said the last day would be in mid-February.
The community responded to Pietrafeso’s announcement with disappointment and, a few days ago, a petition circulated online saying the community would be devastated by the loss of Ada’s and urged the owners to “sustain the community spirit of the original Ada.” The petition was signed by 1500 people.
Who was Ada? For decades Ada Cantavero ran a penny candy shop and sold newspapers to rail commuters in the store her parents had purchased in 1950. The historic building originally served as Riverside’s post office.
After Ada died in 2008 at the age of 88, her nephew Kelly Romaniello kept her tradition going.
Sadly, Kelly, who had been in the process of planning a renovation, died unexpectedly in 2014.
After rumors circulated the building might be demolished, the community was thrilled when the Romaniello family announced plans for a historically accurate renovation. The work spanned two years and started with removal of aluminum siding followed by careful removal of asbestos shingles underneath. The renovation was a family affair, and the community was delighted with the results. In 2016 Pietrafeso opened Ada’s Kitchen + Coffee.
On Monday, Ron Romaniello shared a statement on behalf of the owners of the property entitled, “Ada’s is NOT Closing!”
“November 15, 2023 will mark the 73rd year anniversary of Ada’s in Riverside, one of the last icons left in Greenwich. In 2025 we will be celebrating our 75th anniversary. During that time our family has been proud residents of the community.”
The statement continued: “The current tenant has decided not to renew his lease, but the friends and families of Ada’s of Riverside will be delighted by what comes next when Ada’s reopens its doors under new management. Be on the lookout for special events and improvements as part of the anniversary celebration, making it a truly memorable occasion for all.”