Patsy Grimaldi Reclaims Grimaldi’s, and More Grimal’drama [Updated]

The coal-fire brick oven is money.
The coal-fire brick oven is money. Photo: Robert K. Chin

In case you missed it over the holiday, Dumbo’s institutional pizza joint Grimaldi’s announced that they would be moving next door on Old Fulton Street after disputes with the landlord. Then news broke that Patsy Grimaldi, the pizza shop’s original owner, would be gleefully taking over the soon-vacated location (complete with its grandfathered-in coal-fired brick ovens) with a pizza den called Juliana, scheduled to open in March. This means the Grimaldi’s we know today (run by the brazen Frank Ciolli, who will keep the restaurant’s name intact) and Juliana would virtually be next-door neighbors.

The sauce thickens, though: The Buildings Department has issued a stop-work order at Ciolli’s new location after learning that they installed a coal-fired brick oven — paramount to his style of pizza, but illegal nonetheless — at the new site without proper approval. (The new spot had been scheduled to open tomorrow.) Ciolli blames the architect, the ever-controversial Robert Scarano, for a paperwork snafu.

No matter how this story shakes out — and we’ll keep you posted as we learn more — it looks like New York’s pizza scene might be about to change pretty dramatically.

Update: Garden City Patch reports that the Russell Ciolli, son of Frank, passed away last week. Reps for the new location say its opening has been postponed as a result.

’Illegal’ install may KO Grimaldi’s move [NYP]

Patsy Grimaldi Reclaims Grimaldi’s, and More Grimal’drama [Updated]