The iconic brick-oven pizzeria nestled under the Brooklyn Bridge that has served salivating customers for decades must move because its landlord won’t renew its lease. But Grimaldi’s will have to leave its world-famous coal-fired oven behind when it reopens next door to its old home.
Citing environmental concerns, the city seldom issues new permits for coal-fired brick ovens like the 25-ton burner Grimaldi’s uses to dish out its savory pies. Such ovens already in use can remain in use, however.
That’s a boon to the “very popular pizza establishment” that will be taking over Grimaldi’s old location, Mark Waxman, a New Jersey man whose family lays claim to the storefront property, tells The New York Post.
Waxman didn’t deign to identify the “popular pizza establishment” that would be usurping Grimaldi’s spot on Old Fulton Street, but he did tell the Post the neighborhood would be pleased by the newcomer.
Grimaldi’s owner Frank Ciolli said he planned to apply for a new coal-fired brick oven permit, though he realizes acquiring one is a longshot. Regardless, he’s not concerned about the pizzeria’s ability to continue luring customers off the streets as it has done for decades.
“I love competition. Bring it on,” Ciolli told the Post.
Grimaldi’s is expected to move to a larger location next door to its old storefront as early as Nov. 29, reports the Post. Ciolli’s current lease expires at the end of the month.
City records indicate Ciolli has gotten approval to build an oven at the new location, but it’s not clear what kind, reports the Post.
The move follows a long-running dispute between Ciolli and his landlords. The Waxmans attempted to evict him last year because he was behind on his rent payments.
A judge granted the Grimaldi’s owner a brief reprieve by ordering the Waxmans to accept $60,000 in back rent and other delinquent payments.