Joe vs. Joe: A New Pizza Battle Is Brewing


[Photograph: Adam Kuban]

The myriad of Ray-named pizzerias in New York City has long confused Gothamites. Ray's Pizza, Original Ray's, Famous Original Ray's. Which was first?* Now it looks like Joe's Pizza on Carmine Street may be drifting into the land of confusion as well.

Pino Pozzuoli, the owner of the original Joe's Pizza (which moved two doors down Carmine Street from its longtime home on the corner of Bleecker) is involved in a legal fight with his former son-in-law, Guiseppe Vitale, who worked with Mr. Pozzuoli until divorcing Pozzuoli's daughter in 2004. Mr. Vitale then opened a Joe's Pizza of Bleecker Street in Brooklyn as well as two locations in California. The Wall Street Journal has the whole tale.

Making things even more confusing is that the original Joe's added the word Famous to its awning when it moved to 7 Carmine Street in late 2004. (Here's what it used to look like in the original location.)

Mr. Vitale, according to the Journal story, has trademarked the names "Joe's Pizza" and "Joe's Pizza of Bleecker Street."

And, when it rains pizza-naming battles, it pours. The same article also details a legal battle between Singas Famous Pizza, based mostly throughout Queens, and a "Famous Pizza" joint in Jackson Heights.

* For the record, the first Ray's appears to have been the one on Prince Street.