When it comes to New York City pizza, you know you’re talking about some of the best pizza you can find in the world. There’s a rich culture of pizza shops all around the city, and the sheer amount of places means that competition keeps everyone at the top of their game. However, some of the best spots are the ones that have been around for decades. Sadly, one of these pizza mainstays is closing down after being around for years.
Lenny’s Pizza, a Brooklyn institution that has been serving slices since 1953, has closed its doors after nearly 70 years in business. The Facebook page for the pizzeria once described it as “one of the LAST and BEST old pizza parlors in BROOKLYN,” but owner Frank Giordano’s daughter, Josephine Giordano, announced its closure.
“It’s bitter sweet [sic] to inform you guys that we are closing our doors after so many years. My dad is finally retiring at 77 years old,” she wrote on Facebook. “We, thankfully, have done very well and felt it was best to close once my dad was ready.”
She added: “PLEASE don’t call the store as we are still taking orders as we are still busy. Thanks so much. This is a very emotional time for us. We ask for you to be respectful.”
In an interview with ABC7, Giordano explained that “New York has changed a bit, and it’s time for my family to move on.” Lenny’s became a New York landmark when it was featured in the 1977 film “Saturday Night Fever,” and songs from the movie’s soundtrack were playing at Lenny’s on Saturday, the night before it closed for good. In the movie, Tony Manero (played by John Travolta) is seen ordering a pair of pizza slices at Lenny’s and then eating them stacked one on top of another.
The pizzeria drew hundreds of people in 2018 when actor John Travolta made an appearance as part of “John Travolta Day,” which was celebrated in the borough. Marty Golden, who was New York Senator at the time, said that Travolta “helped turn Brooklyn into a cultural touchstone of the late 1970s,” and it seems like he did the same for the pizza parlor.
Despite Lenny’s closure, the Giordanos remain grateful for the opportunity to have served their customers. “It’s time for him and I to enjoy our families. We want to thank everyone who has given us the opportunity to serve them.” Josephine Giordano wrote on Facebook.
Frank himself told CBS New York: “I made all my life in this place. I’ve been here 40 years, and now I wanna retire.”