12 June 2011

Hav-A-Pizza


While we're on a Yorkville nostalgia spree, let's post this picture. It's from a site that lists the names and addresses of many of the old Yorkville businesses. According to the site, the pizzeria was on E. 86th Street. A man named Tony made the pizzas. Aside from the great name, and great slogan ("Pizza With That Real Italian Taste"), note the newsstand out front, what looks like a shoeshine stand, and the price! 25 cents a slice.

6 comments:

ironrailsironweights said...

As I noted in a comment at Scouting NY, Yorkville may have lost its ethnic character, but that's a more dignified fate than turning into a tourist trap theme park like Little Italy.

It's probably impossible for white ethnic neighborhoods (other than Orthodox/Hasidic Jewish ones) to retain their original characters in the long run. While the concept of the melting pot has largely faded away, it's not completely gone.

Peter

Brooks of Sheffield said...

I'm not sure I completely agree. Little Italy is a travesty and tourist trap, yes. But some of the old businesses and restaurants still survive, so you at least have that connection to a better past. There's nothing to hang your hat on in Yorkville. I wouldn't mind a few of those old bakeries and delis still being around, even in a touristy, bastardized version.

james said...

I remember when pizza was 25c a slice.About the mid 60s.And everytime the subway fare went up right away the price of a slice went up too.

Frankie Brevetti said...

My grandpa owed hav a pizza. It was the landlords that forced him out both in Ny and again in NJ. They kept raiseing the rent to the point they couldent stay. In 1972 THEY WANTED 100grand a yr for that 20 by 20 store. Just rent. Try to pay that at 25c a slice.

Peter Asch said...

I remember Hav-A-Pizza from the late 50's. It was the first place I ever had pizza. As I remember it, pizza, then, was kind of new as a fast food. I don't think my parents had ever had it. It was fantastic pizza. There was much more sauce and cheese on it than today's slices in similar joints. It had a distinctive, rich, aromatic flavor that I occasionally get a whiff of in a slice today that instantly takes me back to 86th and Lex.

A girl I knew who went to an exclusive East Side private school, Nightingale Bamford, told me years later that the school decreed Hav-A-Pizza off-limits. I'm not sure why, but I think it had to do with the school's (mis)percetion that unsavory, Fonzie-character types hung out there. I remember the clientele as non-descript, average people, maybe mostly young people.

I remember Tony who was always there flinging the dough in the air. He wasn't friendly, at least to us, but he wasn't unfriendly either.

When I first went there a slice was not 25 cents, it was 15 cents, and this was not The Depression. This was 1957-196?. A soda was 10 cents. So 2 slices and a Coke cost 40 cents. Even back then, this was just pocket change even for a school kid with a modest allowance.

Michael said...

My dad Ernie used to work there making pizzas with Tony. We have a picture still today through the front window, of my dad flinging the dough in the air. It so nice to see this pic. It brought back many memories for my dad when he saw the pic, My dad and tony still talk everday =)