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A Pandemic-Born Pizza Bartering System Opens a Permanent Shop in Union Square

Plus, Brooklyn Chop House takes over a 25,000-square-foot space in Times Square — and more intel

Two people holding pizzas on wooden boards smile at the camera while standing in a newly-opened pizza shop
Unregular Pizza’s Salvatore Gagliardo and Gabriele Lamonaca
Unregular Pizza [Official]

Unregular Pizza opens permanent shop at Union Square

After months of running around town trading pizzas on street corners, pandemic pizza barterer Gabriele Lamonaca is opening up a permanent shop today in Union Square, at 135 Fourth Avenue, between East 13th and 14th streets. The crowd-favorite pizza maker built up a reputation for operating Unregular Pizza, a bartering system during the pandemic where Lamonaca traded his loaded, burrata-topped pies for everything from guitar lessons to tins of caviar and one-night hotel stays. Samesa’s Eli and Max Sussman and restaurateur Joe Bastianich have participated in past trades.

The Union Square shop — run in partnership with pizza and pastry chef Salvatore Gagliardo — features a range of 16 Roman-style (mostly) square pies, made with 72-hour leavened dough. Slices start at $4.50 apiece and run up to $13 for Lamonaca’s signature square slices blanketed in whole burrata. The shop, designed with splashy, throwback vibes complete with a ’90s-era soundtrack, also has a wall showcasing all of Lamonaca’s past non-edible barters.

While customers can now simply purchase a slice or a pie without offering other items in return, the trading will still live on. On May 20, Lamonaca plans to conduct a trade with the first person who bartered with Unregular Pizza last year, and then the shop will conduct once-daily trades — signaled by a bell rung when the barter takes place — from that point onward. The shop is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days per week.

In other news

— Brooklyn Chop House is taking over a 25,000-square-foot Buffalo Wild Wings in Times Square. The restaurant, a mashup of a classic steakhouse with an Asian menu, is set to open in September, timed to Broadway’s reopening.

— Two of the Brooklyn Chop House partners are also behind Brooklyn Dumpling Shop, an East Village dumpling automat that is finally opening its doors on Wednesday.

— Popular coffee chain Coffee Project New York is launching a line of canned iced coffees. The two types of canned coffees are available in four-packs ($23) or eight-packs ($40) either online or in stores. The stores also carry individual cans for $6 apiece.

— Asian-American hard seltzer brand Lunar is launching a new line of seltzers today developed in partnership with NYC restaurants 886 and Di an Di, and designer and illustrator Vanessa Nguyen. The seltzer varieties include tamarind and rice paddy herb; pineapple cake; and mango and chili salt. Each drink is available for purchase at the restaurants and online starting today.

— Pete Wells reviews Fradei in Brooklyn, which offers an $80 set tasting menu that isn’t disclosed to diners prior to the meal.

— Korean restaurant Oiji is now on Mise, a website that delivers restaurant meal kits. To promote the launch, the East Village restaurant is selling its popular honey butter chips as a $5 meal kit from May 19 through the end of the month. For every kit purchased, Mise is donating $5 to NYC nonprofit City Harvest.

— Fighting words:

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