It’s better to burn out than fade away, and that’s definitely what Una Pizza Napoletana has done by closing on the heels of being ranked the No. 3 pizza in town by the Times and No. 2 by New York. Diner’s Journal confirms rumors that Una Pizza Napoletana owner Anthony Mangieri is headed for the West Coast, and if you didn’t heed our advice to hot-step it to the pizzeria while there was still time, you’re out of luck: It’s gone, gone, gone, and Motorino (New York’s No. 8 pizzeria) will be opening up in the space in a few weeks. Says Diner’s Journal: “Mathieu Palombino, chef and co-owner of Motorino, said that Mr. Mangieri had sold him his lease today, turned over the keys and will ask the authorities to transfer his liquor license. Mr. Palombino said that when he left, Mr. Mangieri took ‘some personal effects — shoes, watch, some pictures of his family, the Madonna.’” Motorino isn’t one of the newfangled pizzerias that Mangieri calls out in this week’s episode of the magazine, but now we know why Mangieri had no qualms about burning bridges. This is from Michael Idov’s profile in this week’s New York.
Mangieri’s take on his competition is similarly pointed, to say the least: Luzzo’s pizza is “garbage,” Kesté’s “tastes like shit.” “There’s no love,” he says of the latter. The idea that something he’s been doing for twenty years is suddenly trendy repulses him: “Every week, a new place opens. No one pays their dues. They see something that can make money and go, ‘Oh, let’s open a Neapolitan place.’ It’s disgusting!” Lately, he’s been mulling a move to the West Coast, where the lifestyle, at least, is more relaxed.
Make sure to read the rest of the piece, if you haven’t already — it now serves as an epitaph.
Una Pizza Napoletana Has Closed; Will Reopen As Motorino [Diner's Journal/NYT]
Related: Chairman Anthony [NYM]