After all the reports and rumors and even with brown paper up in the windows, I still thought there was a chance for Pizza Box. The typical New York slice shop was part of a dwindling tribe, having been in business since 1957. Box’s owner had assured me on several occasions that they were just renovating and planned to reopen in six weeks with a new layout. I was worried about the pizza changing but he seemed confident that it would just be a cosmetic alteration. About a month ago I heard from another area restauranteur that the pizzeria was not planning to reopen, so hope remained. But this week the sign finally came down and reality set in. Pizza Box is no more.
This marks another blow to the New York slice, which has been struggling against fluctuating ingredient costs and rising rents. A slice of pizza is a great deal at $2.50, but Pizza Box had two $1 slice joints within a block and bar-lined streets like Bleecker are not usually filled with the most discerning palates at 2am. And so the Pizza Box is gone, making way for a fast-food sandwich chain that’s willing to pay more in rent than Pizza Box was bringing in from pizza sales. I can’t blame them, but I certainly can mourn the loss.
I adore this simple box with the misspelled street name.
And what about the pizza? It wasn’t the greatest slice I’ve ever had but it was honest. It’s exactly what a New York slice should be. No fancy flour, no wood fired oven, no cheese blends — no nonsense. Just a solid pie, perfect for folding and eating on the go.
This should be a lesson to us all. Eat good pizza. Support your local pizzeria or it will disappear. Goodbye, Pizza Box. You will be missed.
Mark your calendars for an epic event in NYC that will make all your pizza dreams become reality. On October 10, we’ll be hosting our annual Slice Out Hunger event to make slices from NYC’s best pizzerias available to you for $1 each. Just show up to St Anthony’s Church (154 Sullivan St at Houston), buy tokens at the door for $1 each, go inside and cash in your tokens for slices, a Fizzy Lizzy soda or entries to our mega-amazing raffle. Every dollar we collect will be matched by Scott’s Pizza Tours and Seamless for a massive donation to City Harvest, New York City’s premier food collection organization.
Doors open at 6PM and pizza is first come, first served so be sure to get there early. Our friends from Brewla Bars will be on hand to serve up their brewed ice pop goodness and the geniuses from Green Box will have plenty of their revolutionary pizza boxes for your pizza eating and storing pleasure. October is National Pizza Month — celebrate it with a pizza party to benefit New York’s homeless and hungry!
Slice Out Hunger - $1 Slice Fundraiser for City Harvest
October 10, 2012 at 6 PM
St Anthony’s Church, 154 Sullivan St (at Houston)
FIRST COME FIRST SERVED
What pizzerias will be represented?
Lombardi’s, Joe’s, John’s, NY Pizza Suprema, Difara, Motorino, Da Mikele, Keste, Tosca, Rubirosa, Cowboy Pizza, Naked Pizza, Pala, Forcella, Pizza Box, Rizzo’s, Prince St Pizza, Two Boots, Arturo’s and MORE!
Need more info? Check out the Slice Out Hunger event website.
This is the only signage with correct spelling at Pugsley’s in the Bronx.
Check with your destination pizzeria before heading out for a slice safari this month, lots of Italian-owned pizzerias close for a chunk of August. Sam’s on Court Street (Brooklyn) is closed all month, Zero Otto Nove was closed for a week, Mario’s on Arthur Ave closes after this weekend and I’m sure there are a ton more. But even though it’s depressing to find a locked gate at your favorite pizzeria, Pugsley’s on 191st St in the Bronx seems to have found the most lovely way of dishing out the bad news.
Keep the faith and capture the spirit!