From 1929 to 1988, Casa Moneo was a leader in Spanish and Latin American gastronomy in New York City. Located at 210 West 14th Street Casa Moneo was opened by Spaniard from the Basque region, Carmen Barañano, widow of Jesús Moneo, as a “tienda de ultramarinos” –packaged foods imported from Spain. Along with food however they also sold things like cookware, dresses, shoes and perfumes. During the Spanish Civil War Casa Moneo was picketed by pro-Republican Spaniards in New York, as the owner openly expressed her support of Franco. Apparently, Casa Moneo did not suffer hugely from this boycott as its success continued and accelerated after the war. As time went on Casa Moneo began expanding by importing products their customers asked for from many varied Latin American countries and even added a delicatessen to the store in the late seventies. Casa Moneo was featured many times in the gastronomy section of the New York Times and Carmen Moneo’s son sought to add a sidewalk café to the establishment. However, upon closing for renovation the Moneos fell into severe debt and the store was not able to be reopened. Customers ranging from individuals to restaurateurs sent distraught letters about the loss of this Spanish and Latin American food hub and even today continue to blog about their fond memories of this business that served as a kind of anchor for the Little Spain that emerged on West 14th St.
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