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Lombardi’s Legacy as America’s First Pizzeria Is in Question

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Plus, dive bar Rosemary’s in Williamsburg is closing — and more intel

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Lombardi’s legacy is in question as America’s first pizza

Chicago’s U.S. Pizza Museum is alleging that Lombardi’s may not actually be America’s first licensed pizzeria, as it’s long been considered. Statistician Peter Regas has been researching the matter for a decade, and he has concluded that Lombardi’s was not the country’s first place to sell pizza. New York City’s preeminent pizza historian Scott Wiener happens to agree. He has found that alleged Lombardi’s founder Gennaro Lombardi didn’t own the pizzeria until 1908, and that there were likely others before him.

Williamsburg dive bar Rosemary’s Greenpoint Tavern will close

February 28 will be the last day for longtime Williamsburg dive bar Rosemary’s Greenpoint Tavern. The unpretentious bar has been in the changing neighborhood since 1955, owned by the same family. Now, owner Rosemary Bleday wants to retire and has sold the building. Rosemary’s was known for being a constant in the gentrifying neighborhood, offering simple drinks and beer in a cash-only environment.

Roberta’s gets into the spa game

Roberta’s may have sold out in Los Angeles, but it’s still plenty weird here in NYC. The seminal Bushwick pizzeria has started hosting a mobile sauna on the weekend, available Saturdays and Sundays just outside the restaurant. The 144-square-foot sauna holds just 10 people, so reservations are recommended. There’s also a cold shower area available to make oneself presentable post-schvitz.

Openings, closings, and coming attractions

After a fire that temporarily shuttered Virginia’s and Fiaschetteria Pistoia in Alphabet city, American restaurant Virginia’s has reopened. Craft beer shop Craft+Carry will open at 116 St. Mark’s Pl. with a a six-seat bar. 710 Amsterdam Ave. will soon become Seafood Carnival, while Mexican restaurant Rancho Taquileria will open at 200 West 95th St. Two chefs who have worked at restaurants like El Bulli and the French Laundry are opening Luthun this spring, a tasting menu restaurant with dishes like lamb tartare with cranberry harissa and green juniper at 432 East 13th St. Finally, Henry’s End in Brooklyn Heights will be moving a few doors down to 72 Henry St. The 46-year-old American restaurant will still be at 44 Henry St. until March 31, and then reopen in the new space on April 15.

Woman smashes in restaurant’s window for food not being ready

A woman smashed in a Bronx restaurant’s window recently upon learning that she’d have to wait 10 minutes for a Jamaican beef patty. Police are still searching for a reportedly eight-month-pregnant woman who wanted what she wanted from Back Home Restaurant. After learning it would be 10 minutes for a fresh order, the woman left and returned with a bat and smashed in the front window, causing $2,000 in damage. “That goes to tell you how good they are,” co-owner Simone Johnson told the Post.

Platt is lukewarm on Leonti

The New York magazine review of Upper West Side fine-dining Italian restaurant Leonti could have been worse, and it could have been better. Critic Adam Platt continually calls it expensive, and says that most dishes received “a tepid smattering of polite applause” from his dining companions. He did love the focaccia and desserts, though. Leonti scored a 78 out of 100, which is a “solid” rating.

Group works to ensure survival of 190-year-old Queens bar

Neir’s Tavern in Woodhaven is on the eve of its 190th birthday, and a group of regulars have banded together to make sure the bar stays open. The committee is looking into sustainable solutions like landmarking the bar, upping its public profile, and holding block parties — but a landmark application was already denied in 2015. The issue is that the owner does not own the building.

Partners at Playboy club locked in money battle

A minority partner in Midtown restaurant Playboy Club is suing his partners for being shut out of money matters. Mikhail Gurevich alleges that majority owner Merchants Hospitality Inc. made management and financial decisions without his input, despite an alleged agreement that they should have consulted him first.


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