After three years of growing a following for its regionally noncommittal pizza and saucy burger, Clinton Hill’s Emily is making a big move to the West Village. This second location opens Wednesday, June 7, with a slightly different style of pizza than in Brooklyn, plus the addition of 3⁄4-inch-thick Grandma-style spies.
There’s no Detroit-style in sight, the pizza that inspired a location of its own at Emmy Squared in Williamsburg and that Eater critic Ryan Sutton called “so gosh darn amazing.” It would make sense to try to recreate that success here, but instead, owners Matt and Emily Hyland hope to carve a space in the crowded Manhattan pizza scene by combining New York and New Haven styles and calling it New York, as controversial as that may be.
“People can be so judgy in New York about what pizza is and is not and what’s right and wrong,” Emily says. “Our whole MO is just pizza is supposed to be fun.”
Fun, yes, but at its base a restaurant is a business, and this West Village location has a hefty rent — $22,000 a month, Bloomberg reports — to pay. Then there are also the expectations that come with opening in Manhattan. It’s almost as if they know what’s coming and are already trying to head it off: Finicky diners with lots of opinions.
Rather than play up the space, they seem to be trying to lower expectations, especially since Matt acknowledges that they’re more high-profile following the success of Emily and Emmy Squared, which makes him nervous.
“It’s hard to run a restaurant in general, but I think we’re in the spotlight now — we have a couple Brooklyn places, and they’re successful, and we’re in Manhattan now, the culinary epicenter. So it’s just making sure everything is super perfect,” he says.
“It’s a really scary shift to be in Manhattan. It’s surreal. It’s exciting,” Emily says. “We are a very Brooklyn restaurant, and we’re a little rough around the edges and very low-key. I hope that people will appreciate that. I think they will.”
Emily opens Wednesday, June 7 at 5 p.m. It will be open Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., and until 12 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Lunch and Tuesday service will start in about a month, along with reservations.