Mappamondo I, II closed . What happened?
Don't forget there was another Mappamondo as well, on MacDougal. It went bellyup a while ago.
The problem was that low-priced Tuscan style Italian has become commonplace in the Village, with new better places opening up in the same nabe. Within a couple of blocks of Mappamundo is Da Andrea, pretty damn good, and the superlative Pepe Verde, both priced on par with the Mapps and both better. There's also an expanded Tante Baci, plus Grano, plus Sapore on Greenwich Ave, all providing similar sauced-on-the-spot pastas, bruchettas, and elementally spiced meat and fish courses. Mappamondo came to seem hopelessly old hat. Too bad. They also suffered somewhat from early hype on the part of New York magazine, and never really outgrew it. In addition, these are storefronts owned by Robert Gottlieb, who owns about 100 buildings in the Village (you can identify the restaurant spaces he owns by the sign that says "Fully Equiped" [sic]). Maybe he just decided to raise the rent.