The wait is finally over. Starting at the end of this month, you can get Paulie Gee’s famous ‘za by the slice at his new Slice Shop on Franklin (110 Franklin Street). Paulie formally announced the August 29th opening on Instagram this weekend, to thousands of thrilled fans, with many offering to taste test before the official opening.
Despite the hoards of psyched-as-hell foodies, the pizza shop originally faced neighborhood opposition from Noble Street neighbors when the plans for the shop began a few years back. Almost 300 residents signed a petition in an attempt to prevent the shop getting a liquor license, out of concerns about late night crowds and excessive noise.
Wait times are notoriously long at the original Paulie Gee’s location on Greenpoint Avenue, but people seem generally content to wait for the neighborhood’s most famous pizza. The wait’s long, in part because you can’t get it delivered, and you can’t get it to-go. Sitting down at Paulie Gee’s is a legit experience, for one, and then there’s the issue of the wood-fired pies not really holding up more than a few minutes after they come out of the oven. Owner Paulie Gianonne faced a bit of backlash in 2014 when he decided to discontinue offering takeout.
In a 2016 Greenpointers profile, Paulie said: “I want people to enjoy it fresh out of the oven and I want people to enjoy the experience. And people weren’t enjoying the experience nearly as much because of the take out. The last straw was interesting: one Saturday afternoon I saw somebody with seven pies to go. I was curious, so, ‘What’s going on? You got a party?’ ‘Oh no, I work for Postmates.’ ‘Oh… Postmates?! So, um… where you going with those pies?’ He’s on a bicycle. ‘Stuyvesant town.’ ‘Ok… you going by helicopter?’
“I said, these pies are going to be totally ruined. They’re ruined in ten minutes. Forget about going all the way to Stuyvesant Town on a bike. And I was really upset about that… Some people would say, ‘I just want to take it to the park,’’’ Paulie says with a shrug. “Ya know, I wanted to accommodate them but it’s a slippery slope, and I had to stand my ground on that. So I got this idea: well, why not open up a slice joint?”
Creating the new slice shop required months or research and tests to get the slices just right for to-go consumption. It’s a different style of pizza than at his other locations; the dough has to be different in order to withstand heating, reheating and transportation in a cardboard box.
And, the space’s interior—which Paulie has been teasing via Instagram—is a literal and authentic time warp back to the ’60s and ’70s. There’s wood paneling, orange countertops, a checkered floor and just the right amount of vintage decor—the kitschy menu board was donated from a Lower East Side pizza joint. With dozens of oldschool takeout restaurants shuttering around the city, we have to say we’re relieved to see something new in town that doesn’t feature marble countertops, Edison bulbs or neon pineapples. Like nearly everyone else in the ‘hood, we’re looking forward to getting our slice on, on August 29th.
If you want to learn more about the life and history of “pizza madman” Paulie Gee and how his ‘za became legendary, you should read our extensive five-part profile from 2016: