Today’s news:

Grimaldi’s to go (to Manhattan)

The Brooklyn Paper

Finally, Manhattan will get a taste of what Brooklynites have been devouring for years.

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, famous almost as much for its coal-oven pies as it is for its hour-long lines on Fulton Street in DUMBO, will open an outpost in that far-flung borough this spring, the company has announced.

The new location — actually Grimaldi’s third in the city, thanks to an outlet in distant Douglaston, Queens that opened last month — will be at 135 John St.

“There’s plenty of people over there [in Manhattan] that don’t come to us because of transportation, so I felt it would be a good location,” said company president Joe Ciolli.

Lines should be shorter at the new joint — it’s three times larger than the DUMBO location — though it’s likely that the walls will also be lined with framed photos of Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack pals.

Ciolli promised that the pizza will be the “same.”

The news was first reported at

In addition to the Douglaston location, there are Grimaldi’s offshoots in Hoboken and Garden City, New Jersey. Ciolli also has nine locations spread throughout Arizona, Texas and Las Vegas, opened by an offshoot of the company.

Expansion is the name of the Grimaldi’s game, Ciolli said.

“When I worked in the Brooklyn store, everybody from the west coast would say, ‘Why aren’t you out there?’” Ciolli said. “I wanted to give them a piece of New York — a real pizza — as opposed to these chain pizzas that are offering the stuff that’s not the same.”

And Grimaldi’s owners have gone to great lengths to keep the tastes the same, even as new outposts open nationwide.

For those locations, the company has invented a special machine to replicate the specific Brooklyn water that is used in the pizzas here — true Grimaldi’s pizza isn’t Grimaldi’s pizza without the exact same ingredients, Ciolli explained. The flour and coal is still imported from Pennsylvania, and the tomatoes, cheese, and oil still come from Italy.

State officials had shut down the parlor, but the cash-only DUMBO parlor for a few hours in July in a sales tax dispute that Frank Ciolli, Joe’s father, downplayed as “some kind of accounting error.”

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Reader Feedback

Red Hook from Red Hook says:
Will the service still be awful?
Nov. 3, 2008, 1:53 am
Shield from Gowanus says:
Will the obnoxious attitude and "customer service" also be crossing the bridge?
Nov. 3, 2008, 10:40 am
CAB2 from Brooklyn Heights says:
The pizza at Grimaldi's is awful. The service is terrible. And, I mock everyone who waits on line to get in to this sorry restaurant.
Nov. 3, 2008, 2:14 pm
mark from austin tx says:
great news,i wondered where the offshoots are in texas
Nov. 3, 2008, 6:19 pm
rick from the slope says:
Grimaldi's sucks ,,I know 10 places in Bklyn better
Nov. 3, 2008, 11:33 pm
Peter Arthur from Bay Ridge says:
The pizza at Grimaldis doesn't compare to Totonnos in Coney Island. THAT is PIZZA! Grimaldis service sucks. Why wait on line to get a overrated pizza.It's like a hyped up Dominos and Dominos....I rather eat the box!!
Nov. 4, 2008, 11:25 am
Joe from bayridge says:
I found a Ballhair on my PIZZA
March 27, 2009, 11:22 pm
John from Sugarland, Texas says:
We bought two pies yesterday. It was our first time at Grimaldi's and we went only because of its reputation. It was the most awful pizza we have ever eaten. Frozen pizzas taste better! The crust was charred, but the whole thing was undercooked and too salty. We paid $57 and threw away most of it. What a waste! Do not go to Grimaldi's! You will regret it.
May 3, 2009, 11:25 pm
FWNM from Brooklyn says:
Frank Ciolli exemplifies the worst of the town. He is rude to his restaurant guests -- instead of greeting at the door, he berates the patrons in line. Skip this old man's rant and take your business elsewhere.
April 3, 2010, 8:59 am

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