The picture above is a photograph of my good friend Rob B. enjoying a bit of post-slice repose and some Spring sunlight in the lovely back patio of the Pizza Box on Bleecker Street between MacDougal & Sullivan. I snapped this pic in April of 1999, but Rob and I have been fairly regular customers at the establishment since as far back as about 1982 or 1983 (although the pizzeria itself dates back to 1957).
I wrote about the Pizza Box more extensively back on this post from 2009, when its future was first called into question. Back then, I wrote:
My friend and fellow music-geek Rob B. and I started hitting Pizza Box when we were in high school in the mid-'80s. After running the circuit of neighborhood record stores – including Second Coming (gone) , 99 Records (gone), Free Being (gone), Golden Disc (gone), Revolver (gone), It's Only Rock N' Roll (gone), Venus Record (gone), Subterranean Records (gone), Record Runner (still there, but seemingly never open) and Bleeker Bob's (amazingly still there, but still a dump), we'd dutifully repair to Pizza Box to enjoy a slice and review our new acquisitions. I vividly remember arguing between mouthfuls of pizza over the dubious merits of 7 Seconds' Walk Together, Rock Together and "She's On It" by the Beastie Boys within the `Box's humble walls. It wasn't high end pizza by any stretch, but it was a good, dependable, frills-free experience.
All of the above still holds true, although Bleecker Bob's (just a couple of blocks to the northwest) closes for good on Saturday (soon to be followed by Bleecker Street Records...formerly Golden Disc). I also neglected to mention Rebel Rebel, Route 66 (originally on Bleecker, but then on MacDougal, and now gone) and both incarnations of Kim's that held court on disparate ends of Bleecker (both long gone). Rebel Rebel, quite amazingly, is still there.
I lump Pizza Box in with all those music shops because, as I detailed above, stopping in for a slice after hunting for specific albums or singles was part of our long-standing ritual. I still stop in for a slice at Pizza Box on occasion. I brought my kids there only about a month ago. Every time I walk in, I'm still transported back to those days to the point where the opening strains of "Walk Together, Rock Together" fill my head.
You obviously know where this post is going, right?
Last night, Jeremiah from Vanishing New York passed on a link on his Facebook page from DNAInfo. Apparently, Pizza Box is soon to be closed and replaced by a pricey Spanish fast-food chain that promises "affordable elegance."