Is the Ray's Pizza that vanished from the corner of 6th Ave. and 11th St. coming back from the dead? Or will it be the reincarnation of our lost Joe Jr.'s? Or another Ray's altogether?
On the Friends of Joe Jr's Facebook page there's been chatter that the guys from Joe Jr's are talking with the landlord of the Ray's space to get a long-term lease here. But there is movement inside the space.
This week, the door was wide open and the FOR RENT and NO FOOD signs were gone. Inside, a white-haired man was tidying up. He wasn't tossing everything into the trash, he was actually tidying--putting the pizza pans in neat piles, straightening out the napkin dispensers.
I asked him, "What's moving in here?"
"Ray's Pizza," he said.
Incredulous, I asked, "The same Ray's that was here before?"
"The same Ray's with the same people and the same name?"
Still not quite buying it, I persisted, "So Ray's is coming back? Here?"
The following day, a Ray's menu appeared Scotch-taped inside the window. On close inspection, the menu is from Famous Original Ray's, while this location was merely Famous Ray's, and the addresses on the menu are for Columbus Avenue and 9th Avenue. What Ray's is this? The Famous Original Ray's (est. 1964) Facebook page says, "Coming Soon 6 Ave & 11 Street." So there you go.
One Ray or another, it's something of a miracle. Now let's hope Joe Jr's finds another space nearby.
*Update: Eater notes that the Ray's moving in "looks to be the group that sued the original Famous Ray's owners here for trademark infringement back in June."
Famous Ray's Pizza
Save Joe Jr's
Last Supper at Joe's
Auster's Joe Jr's