Not a drop in popularity, mind you, but a drop in the price. Dollar slices are out and 3/4-dollar slices are in (maybe we should call them 6 bits slices?), at least around Sixth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. A price war sprang up between Bombay Fast Food/6 Ave. Pizza and neighboring Joey Pepperoni's. While Joey's isn't really entangled in the thick of it, it initiated the first price drop from $1.50 to $1. Bombay, a family-run Indian pizza parlor and candy shop, had no choice but to slash its prices as well. But things get really nasty when an all out Game of Thrones–style power/price struggle began to escalate with the arrival of a third slice shop, a 2 Bros. Pizza outlet. The New York Times had this to report:
Price stability at a buck all around persisted until eight days ago, when both 2 Bros. and Bombay/6 Ave. Pizza began selling pizza for the eye-catching price of 75 cents a slice, tax included — three slender quarters.
But how the pizzerias wound up at the 75¢ mark isn't so cut and dry.
First the Bombay/6 Ave. side of the story:
They said that 2 Bros. was trying to drive them out of business, that 2 Bros., unprovoked, slashed the price to 75 cents, forcing them to follow, that things were miserable, that Ramanlal Patel has serious kidney problems, that property in India had to be sold to keep the place going.
But the 2 Bros. owners had a slightly different take on the situation:
On Thursday evening a week ago, Bombay/6 Ave. -- unprovoked, and without warning -- cut its pizza price to 79 cents. The next morning, 2 Bros. retaliated by moving to 75 cents (its owners felt it was easier to make change from a dollar than at 79 cents). Bombay/6 Ave. matched the 75 cents, and that's where everything sits.
"We don't sell pizza at 75 cents," Eli Halali said. "But if they think they're going to sit next to us and sell at 75 cents, they've got another think coming."
So who's to be believed? Turns out that 2 Bros. could back their claim with footage from their security camera. Bombay had made the first move. When asked why they hadn't mentioned the 79¢ price drop (oh, man, this is classic) they replied, "They did not realize there had been interest in talking about 79-cent pizza." Oh, that's just rich!
The 2 Bros. group claims that they have enough power to wait the little guy out. Bombay, however, is not going down without a fight. They claim that they'll never return to the $1 slice and are willing to take their prices down to 50¢! Take that, 2 Bros. Pizza!
For those of you that are familiar with the quality of the dollar slice, does that mean a 50¢ slice would only be half as good? Oof.
See also ...
Do New York Dollar Slices Represent a Unique Pizza Style? »
Slice's Dollar-Slice Map »
Only in New York: Papa John's 99¢ Slices »
Cheap-Slice Showdown: St. Marks 2 Bros. Pizza vs. 99 Cent Fresh Pizza »
'New York' Mag on the Rise of the Dollar Slice »
'New York Times' on the Rise of the Dollar Slice »