Looks like David Portnoy — the founder of the popular, “openly and aggressively misogynistic” sports and pop culture blog Barstool Sports, and a man known for frequently putting his foot in his mouth — is getting into the New York restaurant business.
The project is a collaboration with Nino Coniglio, the chef behind Williamsburg Pizza and Brooklyn Pizza Crew, a rep for Williamsburg Pizza confirmed. But for this new East Village restaurant at 210 Avenue A at East 13th Street, Coniglio is working independent of Williamsburg Pizza, which noted that it’s not affiliated with the new restaurant “at all on ownership or marketing.”
The new restaurant is rumored to be called Alright Frankie, according to NYC pizza blog the Pizza Cowboy, which first broke the news of this development (h/t EV Grieve). It’s a reference to a catchphrase used on Portnoy’s internet pizza review show that was once called One Bite With Davey Pageviews but now goes simply by Pizza Reviews, whose episodes sometimes rack up millions of views.
Considering Portnoy’s obsession with pizza and his claim that’d try every single pizza slice in Manhattan, a pizzeria seems like a natural fit for Portnoy’s first restaurant venture.
But whether New Yorkers will embrace him is a different story. In August, Portnoy got into a Twitter spat with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez after she called him out for threatening to fire any employee that discussed unionization efforts. He’s currently being investigated by the National Labor Relations Board over those threats. A Daily Beast report found that Portnoy has also allegedly threatened and harassed female sportswriters by making expletive-laden references to them either on the blog or on a podcast.
The new pizza spot’s space was once home to Irish pub, Percy’s Tavern, which closed a couple of years ago. The space has sat empty since. No word yet on when this pizzeria might open, but it will reportedly sell bar pie-style pizza.
Eater has reached out to Barstool Sports for comment.