Grimaldi's Pizzeria

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One Front Street main location
Customers waiting outside the original Grimaldi's Pizzeria

Grimaldi's Pizzeria is a popular pizzeria chain in the New York City area. Its most famous restaurant is under the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn at 1 Front Street, next door to its original location. It does not sell slices, only whole pies. The pizzas are famous because they are made using a coal-fired brick oven.[citation needed]

History[edit]

Patsy Grimaldi, the founder of Grimaldi's, learned to make pizza at his uncle Patsy Lancieri's pizzeria in Italian Harlem in 1941 at age ten. He eventually opened his own restaurant, Patsy's Pizzeria, in Brooklyn. Grimaldi originally planned to build it in Manhattan. However, he believed that coal-fired brick ovens produced the best pizza, and that it was illegal to build new coal ovens in Manhattan. As a result, he moved to the current location at Fulton Ferry, Brooklyn.[1]

In 1991, Grimaldi’s aunt, Carmela Lancieri, sold the East Harlem restaurant along with its naming and branding rights to a corporation, which franchised the Patsy’s name to other Manhattan restaurants. In 1995, the corporation sued Patsy Grimaldi for naming his restaurant Patsy’s Pizzeria, which eventually led Grimaldi to change the name of his restaurant to Patsy Grimaldi’s in 1996.[1]

Also in 1991, husband and wife, Pasquale and Carol Grimaldi, opened Grimaldi's Pizzeria at its present location at 19 Old Fulton Street in Brooklyn. The couple operated the pizzeria until 1998, when they sold the restaurant and its branding rights to Frank Ciolli.[2] Carol and Pasquale Grimaldi soon regretted selling the business, leading to a public dispute over pizza quality, potential competition and ownership of the branded name.[2] Following numerous disagreements between Ciolli and the Brooklyn landlord relating to Ciolli's failure to pay rent and city taxes for the Brooklyn location, the Brooklyn landlord did not renew Ciolli's lease for the Brooklyn location. Ciolli left behind the coal oven that made Patsy Grimaldi's pizza famous and moved Grimaldi's to the former Ferrybank Restaurant building, next door to the old location.[3]

Patsy Grimaldi, the original owner of Grimaldi's, has returned to the 19 Old Fulton Street, Brooklyn location to open a pizza restaurant named Juliana's, a tribute to his late mother.[1]

Renown[edit]

  • Grimaldi's Pizzeria is one of the most popular in New York City. In recent years, Zagat Survey has rated Grimaldi's No. 1 Pizzeria in New York.[4] It was named one of the top 10 restaurants in New York by Let's do New York City.[5][6] As Grimaldi's does not take reservations, lines for tables are often long in summertime and extend far up Old Fulton Street.
  • Grimaldi's Pizzeria was chosen as one of the five best pizzerias in United States by the Food Network. Their pizza was featured on the television show The Best of....[7]

Other locations[edit]

Patsy Grimaldi and his business partner, Sean McHugh, opened a second location in Hoboken, New Jersey. It was named Best Pizza in Hoboken in a Zagat Survey in 2005.

The son of the current owner of the Brooklyn location opened a Grimaldi's in Garden City, New York and Douglaston, Queens. Another son opened up a separate restaurant named Patsy Grimaldi's in Scottsdale, Arizona, Chandler, Arizona, and Tucson, Arizona. While separately owned and operated under a different name, the Patsy Grimaldi's pizzerias use the same recipe and ingredients, were opened with Patsy's help, and are marketed as if they were part of the original Grimaldi's.

There are also five Grimaldi's in Las Vegas, Nevada, and one in the Uptown area of Dallas, Texas, and Allen, Texas. In 2010, branches opened in Highlands, NJ and New Paltz, NY[8] In 2011, Grimaldi's opened a location at Limelight Marketplace in New York City and a second location in Dallas, Texas at The Shops @ Park Lane.[9] In Jan 2014, the first California location opened in El Segundo, in the metro Los Angeles area, and in March 2014, the first Colorado location opened in the Pavilions, located on the 16th Street Mall, in Downtown Denver.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°42′09″N 73°59′36″W / 40.70255°N 73.9933°W / 40.70255; -73.9933