Thursday, February 7, 2013

99-cent Fresh Pizza

There's a 99-cent pizza place on 9th Avenue behind the Port Authority bus terminal. It's next to Stiles Farmers Market, next to the now-shuttered Big Apple Meat Market. Actually, it's less of a pizza "place" and more of a pizza stand.

I wonder what will happen to it once Big Apple's building is demolished and the block goes luxury.



It's an orderly but somewhat makeshift little pizza stand, covered with red-lettered signs that seem to shout. It scored an A from the Health Department. And it always draws customers. It opened during the 99-cent recession pizza boom a few years back, and its manager claims to be first on the scene.

I especially like it at night, when it takes on a foggy, dirty-fishtank glow. It feels like something from the older New York.



In 2010, the Times described its scene:

"13 men and women stood on the sidewalk outside 99¢ Fresh, impatiently ordering and impatiently eating slices amid the ambiance of ungentrified Hell’s Kitchen: idling delivery trucks near the rear of the Port Authority Bus Terminal, a barking dog named Leo someone tied up down the block, a prostitute who hurried by saying something about $150 for a half-hour and a bearded homeless man with a cane who spoke loudly to himself about the size of the average bear. He ate two slices."



99-cent Fresh Pizza also sells a few lonely doughnuts, warmed by a fluorescent bulb, bathed in mercury vapor.






10 comments:

EV Grieve said...

I imagine it will remain a pizza place, but, you know, artisanal ... and sell "authentic" New York 99-cent slices like the "old days," though with shaved brussels sprouts and roasted willow-leaved pears for $7.99.

I'll call Michael White.

ShatteredMonocle said...

Good place for a slice before or after getting smashed at the Holland.

John K. Friedman said...

Where will the working girls (and boys) get their refreshments?

Anonymous said...

I'm sure either a FroYo joint or a Cupcake shop will open in it's place. The "Yupsters" can't get enough sweet things.

Ken Mac said...

Have you seen the newish pizza joint on University near 14th? It is so incredibly bright it looks like a movie site. Inside the ceiling is covered in florescent lights, in groups of four, and more outside aimed at the street. Crap pizza, truly weird storefront.

laura said...

jeremiah, do tell. how is the pizza? 99 cents great price. good quality cheese? or that yellowy stuff? how does it compare to the rays on spring or prince? (maybe rays closed, but the pizza was great).

Anonymous said...

Check out Midtownlunch.com for a full report on and comparison of the 99 cent pizza shops in Midtown.

C.L. Rogers said...

It will move somewhere nearby, those places are wicked popular.

Eric Taub said...

I don't know if this place started the 99-cent pizza craze, but it was certainly the first one I encountered in the neighborhood, and, for years, it was the only one. The pizza is decent but not great, and good for a quick fill-up if you're hungry and don't want to spend much.

I've noticed recently that two more 99-cent places have opened up in my neck of the woods (9th in the 50s), and the "Rays" at about 53rd and B'way has a $1 menu.

My concern is the effect these places might have on long-established pizza places, like Amadeus on 8th, where a slice is more like $2.50. Yeah, they're usually better slices (I'm very fond of Amadeus), but that much better? Hmm.

Mark said...

That last line about the donuts may be the single best line I've ever read on any blog ever.