Nick Morgenstern’s popular grandma pie East Village restaurant GG’s is closing — and hit Williamsburg Detroit-style pizza place Emmy Squared is going in its place, according to public records.
Morgenstern, who has had the space for about eight years, announced on Wednesday along with chef Bobby Hellen and Gabe Richter that GG’s would close on Saturday, December 23rd after three years at 511 East 5th Street, between Avenues A and B. They decided to sell the space to a new owner and operator and plan to focus on new projects, Morgenstern says. He declined to say who the new owners were, but said to Eater in a phone call that “it’s the best case scenario we could have found.”
But Emily and Matt Hyland — the husband-wife team behind Emmy Squared and Emily — have already applied for a new liquor license at the location. According to a questionnaire filed with Manhattan Community Board 3, the couple seeks to open a location of Emmy Squared in the space. A submitted sample menu is the same as the constantly-packed Brooklyn location. Emmy Squared did not immediately respond to request for comment. Update: In a statement, a restaurant spokeswoman said that the Hylands plan to open in spring 2018.
The pizza restaurateurs have been on an expansion blitz in the last couple years, with both Emmy Squared and Emily in the West Village opening. They also now have a location in Nashville, Tennessee. The new restaurants followed the success of the original Emily in Clinton Hill, which quickly became known for its wood-fire pies. Emmy Squared serves square, Detroit-style pies where the sauce goes on top of the cheese.
But the couple was sued earlier this year by some of their original Emmy Square investors, who claimed that the duo was cutting them out of profits and new locations. Still, it looks like that hasn’t deterred the Hylands from going whole hog on more locations.
Morgenstern says he and his business partners are happy with the changes and plan to focus on other projects, including a new Ace Hotel restaurant. GG’s was also wildly popular, particularly for a killer happy hour where a slice of Hellen’s traditional grandma pie could be had for $4. But the Staten Island-native chef gained acclaim for a variety of the pies at the restaurant.