In the three days since Di Fara has been closed by the Department of Health, pizza eaters in New York have rallied behind the restaurant in droves. A myspace page is up encouraging "SUPPORT FOR DOM," and, as is the custom these days, an ePetition has been created (signatures at post time: 3). The Times showed their support on Thursday; a member of the eGullet collective has, in essence, suggested a alternate set of rules for places like Di Fara; and in perhaps the most genius compromise suggestion of all time, Slice has proposed the use of a release form to protect all parties involved—legally. Any way you slice it, there has been an overwhelming show of support for Dom DeMarco and his family, who have operated the J Street pizzeria since 1962, give or take.
But there is also a group of realists emerging, who grasp the insanity of DeMarco not having the wherewithal to get his shop in order after six tries:
1) Steve Shaw: The old saying, "You can't fight City Hall," comes to mind here. I mean, I love Di Fara's and couldn't care less about hats, gloves or a few droppings. But really, what is Dom thinking? That he can just keep ignoring failed health inspections and continue to operate? It's sad that this old-world attitude is going to keep him from operating a business in the new world. Nobody benefits from that. [eGullet]
2) Adam Kuban: "I think it's a mixture of this romanticized reverence for the place -- "Let the master work!" But there's nothing people can do to save Dom but to put pressure on him and his family, gentle pressure, of course, but respectfully tell them, "We love your pizza. We love you guys. But get get the place up to code!" [EaterIM]
3) Eater Commenter 'was': Hey, if you want to serve pizza in Brooklyn, follow the effin rules. I applaud the DOH on this one. They gave him a ton of chances. They negotiated a fair deal to let him stay open if he made some improvements. DIFARA failed to keep their word, DIFARA forced the DOH's hand. They were in control of the situation and they blew it. And all you Difara apologists need to get real - they DO NOT deserve special treatment just because they make a tasty product. Should Mario Batali be allowed to scratch his bare nuts barehanded while cooking if his cooking were able to give you an orgasm? Didn't think so. [Eater]
To be clear, we're quite firmly in the latter camp of realistic supporters. Demonstrating community support is important, but we're not signing any petitions urging the DOH to soften their stance here. We certainly are desperate for the pizzeria to reopen, but the Department of Health isn't in the wrong in this instance. Di Fara is filthy. What is it going to take for the DeMarcos to realize they've got to clean the place up?
· BREAKING: Di Fara Fails Five of Six Health Inspections, Closed By DOH Indefinitely [~E~]
· Save DiFara Peitition Now Online [Chowhound]
· #1 Fan: Show Your Support for Dom [myspace]