What to Know
- Di Fara Pizza, an NYC staple for 50 years, has reopened, days after it was seized by the State of New York for outstanding tax statements
- Mayor de Blasio, who loves this pizza spot, had issued a Twitter plea, saying it "MUST be saved;" it's not clear if the debt was settled
- This isn't the first time Di Fara has been closed this year, as the pizzeria was temporarily closed in May after a failed health inspection
Di Fara Pizza is back in business, according to an Instagram post from its ecstatic owners Thursday afternoon.
"Just got the keys back! Thank you New York! #nycfood #difara #pizza #sliceoflice #loveny #lovenyc #businesscasual," the post said.
It wasn't immediately clear how the pizza joint, which had been shut down for failing to pay state taxes, reopened, but it comes on the heels of a Twitter plea from Mayor de Blasio a day earlier that said it "MUST be saved."
"I'm ready to do anything I can to get them reopened — as are thousands of New York City pizza-lovers," de Blasio tweeted Wednesday. "My team and I are looking into how we can help resolve this situation."
Di Fara has been a foodie favorite since it opened in 1965. Fans travel from around the world for its pizzas made with pristine ingredients. But on Tuesday, the New York state tax department slapped a bright yellow "seized" sign on it. The Daily News reported the pizzeria owes $167,506 in state taxes; it wasn't clear Thursday if someone or someones had settled that debt.
When asked by a reporter about de Blasio's intention to help Di Fara reopen, Gov. Cuomo said he didn't think the mayor or the NYC city council had legal authority to forgive taxes.
"He has no legal authority to forgive state taxes. Now, if he wants to pay the $200,000 on behalf of the pizza place, that's fine," Cuomo said.
Di Fara, which is known as much for its dingy ambience as its tangy sauce, has been shut down in the past for city health code violations but has always reopened.
On Thursday, Billionaire's Row even offered to help join the effort to save the pizza spot, though it had one condition: it wanted a meeting to discuss the homeless shelter proposed on W. 58th Street at the former Park Savoy Hotel.