Happy Valley Owners to Launch Pizza Empire

Squares welcome.Photo: Melissa Hom


What are a couple of career nightlifers to do when the economic realities of the club business are giving them grief? Joe Vicari and Salvatore Imposimato, last seen running the late Happy Valley, have, for the moment, left models and bottles behind, but they haven’t strayed far: Last Friday they opened a pizza joint on Ludlow Street, the first of five they hope to introduce in the next year and a half. (Clearly, they mean to lure Rosario’s customers with this one.) Their formula is simple: thin-crust, gas-fired brick-oven pies like their aunts and uncles from Italy made (the Grandma is made with fresh cheese, garlic, olive oil, and cherry tomatoes from the San Rosano region). In addition to a margherita, a Sicilian, and a few other varieties, the joint stocks the usual assortment of calzones, zeppolis, and garlic knots — plus (as if the arcade across the street at Max Fish weren’t enough) a Street Fighter machine in the back. Those late-night revelers too smashed to wait for their slice to come out can buy bags of fresh dough for three bucks a pop. — Daniel Maurer

Pizzeria De Santo, 173 Ludlow St., nr. Houston St.; 212-533-3337.