29 May 2012

Memories of Hav-A-Pizza


Some posts can surprise you. For instance, when I posted this picture of Hav-a-Pizza in June 2011, I didn't expect that many people remember the old hole-in-the-wall pizzeria on E. 86th Street. But people did. Fondly. Here are the comments, which nicely fill in the Hav-a-Pizza story. The second one is from Frank Brevetti, the grandson of the store's owner. (Guess what? The shop closed because the landlords raised the rent. Same old story.) The fourth is from the son of a man who worked there.
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
My dad Erniused 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 =)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 =)

2 comments:

Ken Mac said...

beautiful

Peter said...

Most of my circle of kids from The Dalton School loved Tony and thought he was the greatest.