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Rocco’s, famed Bleecker Street pastry shop, dishing out vaccine defiance

BY ART GATTI | The Bleecker Street Italian restaurant, Pesce Pasta, tells us, “Yes, we are checking vaccination status for those dining indoors,” while across the street the iconic pastry shop Pasticceria Rocco sports a sign in its window defiantly stating that it never will.

My conversations with persons answering phones or behind the counter makes it clear that once the law comes into effect requiring establishments with indoor dining to see diners’ proof of vaccines, Rocco’s will not obey that law — this new law that was enacted for the benefit of the community.


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A post shared by Pasticceria Rocco (@roccospastry)

Maybe the owners of Rocco’s don’t subscribe to the same health guidelines that we do? If so, this may be because the family that owns the two businesses, in Manhattan and Brooklyn, are not part of any community we Downtowners recognize, but instead reflect the wrongheadedness vis-à-vis COVID of so many where they live, on Staten Island. We were all witness to the crazy lawlessness that raged through that borough when the earliest COVID measures were taken by government.

Now they look to spread their toxic rebellion to our streets. Well, more than 100 posts on may convince them otherwise, because 80 percent of those replies condemn the much-loved old establishment for its ridiculous and harmful stance.

O.K., they have time to reconsider, since the enforcement of the proof-of-vaccine requirement won’t start for a couple of weeks. But will they?


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A post shared by Pasticceria Rocco (@roccospastry)

Their Instagram page has become a rallying cry, mustering support from the public they think might support them, and featuring a ragtag collection of less than a half-dozen New York City businesses that will join them in a lawsuit that will restore their “right” — the right, apparently, to not care about public health.

So, even before the law comes into effect, neighbors are talking boycott. The big question is, will Rocco’s finally see the light

Rocco’s is named for its founder, Rocco Generoso, who was named for the saint of the same name. Ironically, St. Rocco was noted for trying to heal victims of the Black Death (the bubonic plague), which he himself caught.


  1. redbike redbike August 30, 2021


    This just in: COVID doesn’t discriminate either.

    Vaccines (and masks) stack the deck. Me? In this game, I’m all in favor of stacking the deck … in my favor.

    Serious question: Is Rocco’s similarly casual about other public-health requirements?

    This just in (too): The health code isn’t like a restaurant menu. You don’t pick and choose.

  2. Brendan Sexton Brendan Sexton August 30, 2021

    I am old enough to remember when, as preschoolers, my sister and I were forbidden to go to any swimming pool because a crowd of kids might mean *polio* — terrifying. As for those years, moms wouldn’t let kids go to birthday parties, church youth meetings — anything. Now THAT was a restriction on our freedom!

    Then, the Salk vaccine was approved and — Wham! — life changed for the better almost overnight. A vaccine got my generation swimming, gathering together…a normal childhood.

    My mom’s mom died when mom was three years old and she grew up without. Gram died of the 1918 influenza. (yes, this goes back a ways). Today, this would not happen because of the flu vaccine.

    Why the opposition? What in the world is so terrible about getting a little pinprick for the common good. I mean *really.*

  3. Peggy Friedman Peggy Friedman August 30, 2021

    I love and adore Rocco’s pastries; oh Yum Yum Yum. How sad I am to have to boycott them perhaps permanently. I enjoyed a cheesecake for my birthday. It was top-drawer. Perhaps it will be the last tasty treat I enjoy from that establishment. Rocco’s — see the light, your neighbors want to patronize you.

  4. Milo Milo August 30, 2021

    Sorry, but I’m not dying for a cannoli.

  5. Marty Curls Marty Curls August 30, 2021

    Can’t believe such a great place can be such a BIG ASSHOLE!

    Marty Curls

  6. Alec Pruchnicki Alec Pruchnicki August 30, 2021

    They said that this was a matter of principle, standing up for civil liberties and freedom and not a political statement. But then they had a press conference in Brooklyn with Curtis Sliwa. When health inspectors come to see if there are rat droppings or roaches in the basement, or too many flies around the cannoli cream, or if there is a sink where employees can wash their hands, do they preach about civil liberties and freedom then? No, of course not. I’ll miss their cannolis and panettone, and it would be a shame if the last Italian pastry shop in the West Village was shut by the Department of Health because the owner was a gavone, but it might come to that. What a way to end a long tradition.

  7. Chris Flash Chris Flash August 30, 2021

    Running an opinionated EDITORIAL as a “news” article makes
    The Village Sun look like anything BUT an online “news”paper.

    Many people in our fair city seem to have caught a virus created by the state and spread by way of state media (tv, radio, cable, print, social media, etc). As bad as that is, the state’s virus has induced the infected ones in their terrorized state to attempt to spread that virus on to those of us who aren’t sick and who are not fooled by the state’s latest COINTELPRO psy-op that guarantees future generations of docile, obedient, compliant people who dare not question authority or think and choose for themselves.

    Those who are infected with the state’s virus, many of whom have fought the good fight against the state in the streets and in courts over the past three decades and who therefore ought to KNOW BETTER, have completely and UNQUESTIONINGLY bonded with and absorbed the LIES they have been fed by the state since 2020.

    To those of you who are sick with the state’s virus, PLEASE PLEASE self-quarantine and keep it to yourselves. We do NOT want the indoctrinated and terrorized to become “super spreaders.”

    It is my sincere hope that you will recover before it is too late for you.

    As for ROCCO’s, I admire and respect them for taking a stand against the latest edict from a lame-duck mayor, who will be GONE in just a few months, who has done so much to harm our city while giving his ALL for real estate vultures and banksters.

    Those of you threatening a boycott of ROCCO’s will NOT be missed.

    • David R. Marcus David R. Marcus September 18, 2021

      All I can say is you are quite ignorant.

      Vaccine mandates have been with us forever and if you ever attended school (???) my guess is you received plenty of them; many of which saved your uninformed life.

  8. The Village Sun The Village Sun Post author | August 30, 2021

    Chris, Art’s piece is a column (first-person, op-ed) but it is reporting on a news story. It’s pretty clear from the piece’s style, tone and content that it is not a straight news article, but an opinion piece, as well. However, the writer clearly did do some reporting to inform the story.

  9. Ann Pettibone Ann Pettibone August 31, 2021

    To turn Covid protections into a political statement is just plain stupid. Tremendously disappointing that Rocco’s is taking this defiant position on such an important public health issue.
    I hate to say never, but probably never ever again will I shop at Rocco’s.

  10. Arthur Gatti Arthur Gatti August 31, 2021

    I love where these guys go! First establish a non-truth — then run with it. So you say my article is an opinionated editorial. Well anyone reading it can see it’s just reporting what IS. But it is also clear that you are the opinionated editorial responder — and it seems you took this opportunity to take shots at all your pet targets. And of course, not a single word of what you wrote here would move a sane person to reconsider self-protection. All you are really saying is that you never, ever have gone with the flow, probably for your entire life. And you want to bring everyone down with you. What you rave about is not “freedom” — it is about your right to be stupid. Well, please continue to do so — but don’t try to sit anywhere near me.

    • Chris Flash Chris Flash September 3, 2021

      YES, “Arthur” — I AM calling the piece that you wrote “an opinionated editorial” because that IS what it is.

      I and others who do not blindly follow those in govt and media who LIE to us every single day of our lives are anything but “stupid.” We don’t call people like YOU “stupid” for allowing yourselves to be terrorized into submission by a govt that doesn’t give a DAMN about any of us, as we respect your choice to believe what you are fed.

      The problem here is that people like YOU have ZERO respect for the freedoms of others. Out of your minds with blind FEAR, you creeps then ATTACK those of us who are not afraid.

      If you are so afraid, then do us all a favor and STAY INSIDE where you will be “safe.”

      • Art Gatti Art Gatti September 4, 2021

        People like this believe that freedom means “my stupidity is equal to your facts” — and clearly (at least to me) he is a sore trumploser. Yeah, right, kiddies, everyone is lying to you. Of all the truths you can identify as lies, Chris, you can say nothing whatsoever about the thousands of truths that are true. You deny elections, you deny racism, you deny good government, you deny income disparity, you deny Covid safety measures and you deny climate change. Keep reading the trash you read, but don’t try to traslate all that gobbledygook into an argument. And listen, Rambo, I have had it and I am not afraid of it–my fears are for the innocents that your ignorance affects. So, i’ll look for you at the protests. when the city closes these places–but it won’t be sitting at one of the indoor tables.

  11. laura rubin laura rubin September 1, 2021

    a cafe is not an essential business. no one is forced to eat a pastry. if you’re not comfortable do not go inside. this is america, there is something for everyone. There are many cafes in NY that require “the vax” (or 2 or 3, later the 2 xs a year boosters — take your choice).

    • Art Gatti Art Gatti September 1, 2021

      Laura — LAW is NOT a matter of “choice.” Please wake up.

      • laura rubin laura rubin September 10, 2021

        ART, you can CHOOSE where you have a pastry! Have your coffee & pastry somewhere else if you insist. leave the rest of us alone. interesting that freedom of choice is called a trump thing. he rolled out the vax, made the deal w/big pharm in spite of requesting further investigating (from the gates foundation). he was correct as it needed more study. now you see no matter how many shots you have, you will never be immune. what a crappy vaccine, nothing like the polio, which was effective. go to the other cafe, wear the 3 masks, plastic shields. make sure to pull up that mask while chewing.

      • laura rubin laura rubin September 17, 2021

        laws can be modified.

  12. Jane Doe Jane Doe September 1, 2021

    Cows, everyone here is a cow, no one has done any science here, clueless cows…. here’s a tip, not all vaccines are they same, the definition has been changed!

  13. Art Gatti Art Gatti September 2, 2021

    Obviously, John or Jane Doe is someone who replied before and is not satisfied with sensible responses, so they have resorted to sheer nonsense. ..or JD is just another Trumpian anti-vaxxer with verbal raspberries as a “position.”

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