The Via Carota team has expanded again, only this time it’s not another restaurant. Spazio Creativo, located at 50 Grove Street, near Bleecker Street, appears to be a lot of things but is essentially a Via Carota general store. It will “be a workspace for meetings, podcasts, events, pop-ups, and launches,” co-owner Jody Williams told Eater via text message, adding that an expanded line of provisions is to follow.
Williams and her partner Rita Sodi separately and together have owned some of the buzziest restaurants in town, a West Village empire that includes I Sodi, Via Carota, Buvette, Bar Pisellino, and more recently, the Shaker-inspired Commerce Inn, among them. And while the new space will not expand seating or make Via Carota any easier to get in, it will be a chance for customers to have a taste of the Via Carota world more casually.
Coinciding with the launch of the Italian restaurant’s new cookbook Via Carota: A Celebration of Seasonal Cooking from the Beloved Greenwich Village Restaurant, dozens of copies sit on the window sill. Williams tells Eater cookbooks will be on sale at Spazio Creativo through the holiday season, with events planned around the fall launch.
Visible through the storefront’s windows, Spazio Creativo has a dining table with chairs, some Shaker-looking pieces, and shelving with what looked to be stocked with pantry items like olive oil.
There’s also a 1920s enamel four-door refrigerator filled with “[provisions] for your meetings and events,” says Williams, adding that the general store is “stocked all the things we crave,” like fresh truffles.
According to the Via Carota website, the West Village hot spot uses olive oil from Sodi’s family’s farm. Williams did not make clear whether Spazio Creativo also will sell products from the Italian farm Sodi is a partial-owner in.
When Via Carota first opened in 2014, it was exalted for its rustic Italian cooking — which highlighted deceptively complex but simple-presenting dishes like its insalata verde — leading one food critic to even call it “New York’s most perfect restaurant.” The restaurant’s name translates to mean Carrot Street in Italian and is a reference to the Tuscan street Sodi once lived on. In 2019, Sodi and Williams were awarded a James Beard award for Via Carota in the best chef category.
Williams tells Eater that Spazio Creativo is currently open with irregular hours throughout the week.