In the 80 years since Patsy Lancieri opened his East Harlem pizzeria, Patsy's has maintained its status as an iconic New York destination for pizza pilgrims around the world. Current owner Frank Brija, who has manned the Patsy's helm for more than 30 years, intends to celebrate the restaurant's anniversary with a new location, in the Whitestone neighborhood of Queens. This will be Patsy's first foray into the outer boroughs, and it sounds like the locals can hardly wait.
Brija bought Patsy's from Lancieri's widow in the late '70s—this was, incidentally, the origin point of the rather sordid Patsy's / Grimaldi's / Juliana's affair. Over the years, New York has become populated by innumerable Patsy's locations. But not all Patsy's are what they seem.
In 1995, Nick Tsoulos, owner of the Angelo's and Goodburger chains, purchased licensing rights to the Patsy's name and brand (you can read more here). But the Harlem location has always remained under the direct supervision of Brija, who gets major cred. as a longtime employee of the original Patsy's.
According to The Daily News, the upcoming Queens location will see chef Robert Orrico at the oven, with local managers to be overseen by Harlem-based Brija. Keep your eyes peeled for the official date of this month's opening!
About the author: Niki Achitoff-Gray is the editor of Slice and a part-time student at the Institute of Culinary Education. She's pretty big into pizza. Also, she likes offal. A lot.