Greenpoint’s pizza king Paulie Giannone has come a long way since opening his original wood-fired pizza restaurant. The restaurant, eight years later, still boasts long waits. There are now four locations nationally. But now, the man who helped drive NYC’s haute pizza movement is ready to open a restaurant going back to humbler times: Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop, specializing in Sicilian pies and classic New York City-style slices in a setting inspired by parlors of the ‘60s and ‘70s.
Running the show at 110 Franklin St., at Noble Street, is Andrew Brown, a longtime staffer of the Paulie Gee’s restaurant on Greenpoint Avenue. He’s been showing off a bunch of experiments on Instagram that share a soul with the creative pies of the original, like a slice with Mike’s Hot Honey, lemon-whipped ricotta, garlic, roasted onion, and basil.
But once the restaurant opens this month, the day-to-day menu will stay slim. Cheese, pepperoni, and sausage will be options. A white pie will come with fresh mozzarella, chopped garlic olive oil, and romano cheese, and like at the wood-fired location, vegan options will be a plenty. A Sicilian, too, will be on deck — a “tour de force” with a sesame seed crust that the team is calling Freddie Prince, Giannone says. “Andrew made some incredible pizza,” Giannone says. “Nice crisp bottom, fluffy on top.” Other more eclectic pizzas, as well as a grandma slice, will come and go.
A big draw of the restaurant — delivery and takeout, which famously isn’t available at the original — won’t be ready immediately, meaning people will have to visit the 46-seat space that Giannone’s meticulously decorated with vintage accents. Bright orange booths come from the Jersey pizza parlor that his kids visited, and old-school Coca-Cola decor and Yankees memorabilia fill the space.
Despite the experimentation and obsession with decor, in theory, it won’t be quite the event that Paulie Gee’s is. It’s counter-service only, and with a closing time of 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, the idea is that despite the pedigreed name, people can drop by to grab a slice even late at night. In going with this format, Giannone inadvertently joins a growing number of ambitious pizzaiolos who are expanding their artisanal empires with new restaurants resembling the modest, more accessible slice shop.
Take a look around the shop. Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop will open by the end of the month, with hours of 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Delivery and take-out to come.