Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ray's Revived?

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?"

"Yeah! Yeah!"

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


Marc Kehoe said...

Possible good news. Shocking.

EV Grieve said...

Wow. Good news indeed.

And will all this be on the midterm?

Marty Wombacher said...

Nice to hear this, possible good news, indeed!

Anonymous said...

Ok - so this is the *real* Original Ray's? I found this confusing.

Anonymous said...

But.. but... the Rays that was there on the corner of 6th and 11th was actually pretty unique. Their slices were perhaps too indulgently cheesy for my tastes as I grew older (it was the first NY slice I ever tasted, back in 1988). But it was a distinctive tasting pie, nonetheless. And cant forget, those slices were ENORMOUS.

The space may be replaced by one of the other defunct Rays, but this one was most definitely a LOSS.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Anonymous. 6/11 Ray's was a massive gooey slice since the mid-1980s. Bookend it with the St. Mark's slice, and you had 2 distinctive, go-to slices available 18 hours a day.

Anonymous said...

It looks like the Ray's menu and coming soon signs have been taken down----does anyone know if the new Rays is still planning to move in?

Grand St. said...


Jeremiah Moss said...

woah--that's amazing. and crazy!

Grand St. said...

Passed by this afternoon and was happy to find "Famous Roio's" open for business (as of yesterday).

Pizza tasted good (though not quite like vintage Famous Ray's). Interior looks great and now includes a couple of cool photos of the old joint. Shook the hand of Mario the owner and told him to was nice to have him back.

FWIW, "Roio" is apparently part of the name of Mario's hometown in Abruzzi.

Jeremiah Moss said...

you must have been reading my mind--i talked with the owner yesterday and just posted the story.