Now that surly pizza genius Anthony Mangieri has announced he’s skipping town only a few days after his profile ran in New York, it turns out the two events are not entirely unrelated. “We’ve been talking [with Motorino] since February,” he says, “but with what happened in the last three weeks, with the article and other things, we’ve never been this busy, and I was stressing about it. My real estate guy and my lawyer fully expected me to flip out and not go through with it. And then last Thursday the deal came together. I spent the weekend thinking about it, and then I just said yes.”
Mangieri’s plans beyond the sudden sale are, shall we say, soft. What he wants is to create a perfect replica of Una Pizza Napoletana — including the name and the oven — in a location yet to be determined but likely to be San Francisco. (He says he had wanted to open there in 2004, instead of New York, but chickened out.) He thinks he may be open by October, after a pretty exhausting-sounding vacation: “A little motorcycle trip with a couple of buddies, then a cross-country drive with a lot of mountain biking on the way, and then I’ll go to Hawaii and paddle around and see how California sits in my head before I sign up for anything.” Then again, after only a few days off, he’s already beginning to feel stir crazy. So he’s not ruling out just grabbing a West Coast lease and getting to work as early as next week. Finally, Mangieri says, “I’m still toying with the idea of reopening here in New Jersey, buying a building in the Asbury area. But if I don’t go to California this time around, I feel I’m never gonna do it. I’m super-scared but I know I’m doing the right thing” — whatever that may be.
Earlier: Anthony Mangieri Closes Una Pizza Napoletana, Hands Keys Over to Motorino [Grub Street NY]
Chairman Anthony [NYM]