Manganaro’s To Become a Brick Oven Pizza Spot

Manganaro’s, the 119-year old Hell’s Kitchen institution praised by the culinary Hunter S. Thompson himself, Tony Bourdain, closed recently to the lament of many an appreciator of fine red sauce cuisine. In its place rises not the balkanized nightmare of another generic deli, a former Yugoslavia-style breakup of food interests at war with itself by definition, but what we can only hope to be a united front against crappy pizza: Tavola.

The new owners have at least kept the old style woodwork intact, albeit painted over. If I recall correctly it could have used a new paint job anyway.  The workers I talked to only knew it was going to be an Italian restaurant, but some digging on the name turned up confirmation that it’s to be a brick-oven pizzeria. The interior “gutting” at least keeps some nice exposed brickwork and what appears to be the original ceiling. Hopefully the new establishment can maintain its pedigree and offer a decent alternative to the dollar-slice joints not too far away on 8th – who wants to pay more than a buck for a basic utility slice anyway?

If we’re lucky we may get a decent Roman-style pizzeria with amazingly thin crusts and toppings that are decent, but those tend to blow past the ML price limit if you want anything other than a pizza Margherita. No targeted opening date could be gleaned from the workmen or the building permits out front, but the signage already completed and a large number of simultaneous permits for varied projects leads us to believe it’s going to hit sooner rather than later.


  • MJP, you are officially on notice for the first paragraph above. shudder.

    • I could have done worse, but I was Balkan at the concept of turning a bad metaphor worse. *rim shot*

      Not a Tony Bourdain person, I take it?

      Edit: Fair enough, it was more to encourage bridge-building into gonzo food journalism but your point is well taken. For the record, I am against Tony going on crack or any recreational pharmaceuticals for that matter. He’s from Jersey too, we gotta look after our own.

      (Edit since it appears replying is disallowed to 2nd replies)

  • Hunter S. Thompson must have been tripping serious balls to appreciate the service of Manganaro’s.

  • The Groceria was vile. I remember going in there once for a meatball parm, and the woman heated it up in the microwave. Good riddance.

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