Tourists on the Dumbo pier looking for Grimaldi's might be confused by this innocuous-seeming, month-old sign that in fact points away from the storied pizza shop and toward competitor Ignazio's. (That's the line for Grimaldi's in the background of the photo.)
Ignazio's owner Louis Termini claims he has a good relationship with Grimaldi’s. “When I first came by they were a little startled but then I started eating at their restaurant once a week. They got to know me, and they didn’t want to break my legs anymore,” he laughs. The sign is no threat to Grimaldi's. "I don't think it really matters," says manager Gina Peluso, who mentioned in passing that Ignazio's pizza "is more expensive than ours." (A large pizza starts at $14 at Grimaldi's and $20 at Ignazio's.)
When he first opened a year ago, Termini put a little sign out of the way of foot traffic. The owner of Pete's Downtown, who controls the precious corner blacktop across from the River Café, made Termini a better offer. "'You wanna put your sign on my corner?' I said yes," Termini recalls. "[I'm] just surprised in twenty years that no one else thought of opening a pizza restaurant near Grimaldi's.”
If you're holding out for Grimaldi's in Manhattan, wait in a different kind of line. Peluso doesn’t expect the shop that was supposed to open at the Limelight Marketplace to be turning out pies until August, at the earliest.