Imagine how different Prince Street felt in 1920, the year Anthony Dapolito was born and his parents, Nunzio and Jennie, first opened Vesuvio Bakery, firing up the coal ovens in the basement to bake bread and muffins for a neighborhood thriving with Italian immigrants. As a boy, Dapolito made deliveries around town via horse and carriage and, after taking over the shop, he could be seen tootling around SoHo on his bicycle, baguettes sticking out of his bag.

But Dapolito was also much more than a baker. For decades he reigned as the unofficial "Mayor of Greenwich Village," a tireless community activist and a valued ally to Eleanor Roosevelt and Jane Jacobs in the fight to save Washington Square Park from Robert Moses's freeway. After Dapolito died in 2003, the fate of the iconic, green-fronted shop has been uncertain. Maury Rubin's Birdbath Green Bakery held down the fort for a while, but the place sat empty since summer.

Until, suddenly this week, Vesuvio is... back?

Kind of! A bakery named Vesuvio opened on Tuesday at 160 Prince Street, keeping the same historic green facade, the same arced signage in the window, and selling pastries, loaves of bread, Italian cookies, and soft serve gelato.

The new owner is Adam Block, who also runs Print Restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen, and the head baker is Sofia Schlieben, also of Print, among other ventures. Their primary goal here, Schlieben said, is to honor Vesuvio's 100-year history by serving quality baked goods in a simple, community-minded setting, without forcing any sort of faux-retro trappings into the operation. The coal ovens downstairs, for example, though still intact, will remain idle, with Schlieben doing all the actual baking up at Print and driving it downtown.

On the new Vesuvio's second day of operation this week it was heartening to see the cases up front packed full of baked goods, both sweet and savory. I tried a good chunk of Schlieben's menu, and it all seems solid.

The Pignolis were appropriately nutty and chewy, the Chocolate Chip Cookie sweet and crunchy, the Ricotta Cheesecake rich and moist, the Italian Sandwich a nicely balanced selection of meats, cheeses, pickled peppers and olive oil on a soft baguette.

There are at least a half dozen different loaves of bread you can bring home, including an Olive Rosemary, a Hazelnut Fig, and a Whole Wheat Sourdough. Four types of Italian cookies are available by the pound, and there are several good breakfast-with-coffee options, including a Chocolate Hazelnut Bomboloni and a flaky Sesame Croissant. There's no seating inside, just a couple of standing counters by the windows, though hopefully they'll put a bench out front soon.

Vesuvio Bakery is located at 160 Prince Street, between West Broadway and Thompson Street, and is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (@vesuviobakerynyc)