We went to have our favorite Grimaldi’s Pizza
today but this was what we saw where it was supposed to be. Oh my god, did it close down? That news would have caused me to well up and start crying. At the old location a sign reads that Julianna’s Pizza
is soon to open, “The return of Patsy and Carol Grimaldi.” What gives?
The Grimaldi’s Pizza restaurant that has been at 19 Old Fulton Street for decades moved around the corner to 1 Front Street, an old bank building that has the only cast iron facade in the area. Of course it took this move for me to look into its reasons. Grimaldi’s owner Frank Cioli (who purchased the restaurant’s rights from Patsy Grimaldi in 1988) lost his lease at the old location, including the use of the legendary coal brick oven that produced Grimaldi’s magical pies. Apparently Patsy Grimaldi is coming out of retirement to take the old restaurant back and naming it Juliana after his late mother. I love Italians. There’s always a family story!
Anyway the move is not a bad one. 1 Front Street is a huge three-storey location. This was taken outside on a Saturday at 12:30, and guess what? No line. Impossible at the old location where I’ve waited over an hour and a half in the freezing winter or in the sweltering summer heat for one of New York’s absolute best pizzas.
Plus I am a fan of tall ceilings so this one definitely fit the bill.
I still can’t believe there was no Saturday lunch line.
Some history to the building, an old safety deposit bank built c.1869.
The ground floor view from the top of the stairs.
Part of the second floor.
Other side of the second floor with a view of the other side through the glass.
There are steps leading to a third floor but it wasn’t open (yet?).
Good pizza as always. Grimaldi’s never fails.
No slices available here. Just whole pies.
The pizza kitchen and oven is now located front and center.
In the middle of a white mushroom pie.
Just checking the oven. I heard they pulled major strings to be able to get the permit to build this one.
Coal brick ovens are considered a fire hazard and building code prohibits their use in restaurants.
I love some red in my pie.
Put that baby in there.
It’s hard to tell how the opening of Julianna’s will impact Grimaldi’s business. They definitely have their own fan base and I also happen to love Patsy’s pies
. More interestingly, I’d like to know how Grimaldi’s huge new location impacts their usual wait for a table. Throughout our meal a couple of parties did spend a few minutes in line even if there were many vacant tables inside. Things might change over the summer though, but if they open their third floor they might have to use another oven. Working for two floors already added a lot of time to our pizza, which usually came within 10-15 minutes at the old location. Either way this is a story unfolding, and I’m always up for some restaurant back story.
In the meantime, I’m glad I’m not crying for a lost love. In fact, I may soon have two loves side by side. Mangia!Read my post about the original location here
1 Front Street