08 April 2012

A Memory of Hav-a-Pizza

From a reader, a memory of Yorkville's long-gone Hav-a-Pizza:
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.


Thomas Pryor said...

Amazing shot, thank you!

Little Earthquake said...

Just for fun I ran this through the Labor Dept.'s inflation calculator. Fifteen cents in 1960 works about to about $1.15 in 2012. Still a great deal! We do have 99 cent slices around town, also a great deal, but they are not the norm.

The pizza and coke for 40 cents (again, 1960) is $3.08 today.

Anonymous said...

I would like to have a slice of it. Let's say in France you cannot have slice from the pizza shop. You must buy the whole thing and it will cost you around 10-15€. So pizza is rarely a choice as a snack.