Ray's Pizza on Prince Street: The End of an (ahem) Original ... Maybe


You've probably seen by now the crazy, crazy news that Ray's Pizza on Prince Street is closing at the end of the month. (Or maybe not.)


We've mentioned what I like to call "The Various Rays" a lot on Slice. And to anyone outside NYC, the saga can be confusing to say the least. Heck, even for people who live here, there's often disagreement about which of the "World Famous Original Ray's Famous Pizza" joints is the original.

It's become accepted among self-styled pizza historians that the one on Prince Street is the one that started it all, opened by Ralph Cuomo in 1959. The Times has a nice eulogy on the place, warts and all—Cuomo had mob ties and was in fact arrested on charges of selling heroin.

The eulogy, however, may be premature:

"I don't want you to put that this is the end," said Helen Mistretta, the manager who, seven months before her 80th birthday, is in no mood for weepy nostalgia. "It's the end of 27 Prince, not the end of Ray's of Prince Street."

Or, if you read Gothamist, you'll see an employee claims that the 27 Prince Street location is not closing at all.

We don't know what's going on with the place, but if 27 Prince does indeed close, we at Slice will be sad to see this original (if perhaps not Original, with a capital O) piece of NYC pizza history become little else but memories and photographs. We hope to see it remain or reopen in some form or another.