Since launching out of a Bushwick apartment in 2022, Chrissy’s Pizza has been one of the hardest pies to get in town. That didn’t change this week when operator Chris Hansell announced that he’s moving his headquarters, taking over the original home of Superiority Burger, 430 E. Ninth Street, between Avenue A and First Avenue. Sometime in August, Chrissy’s will abandon the somewhat convoluted pre-order system it's maintained up until now and switch to walk-up ordering.
Preorders for July pick-ups at the former Superiority Burger space went live on his website today, June 22 — and just as quickly the site crashed.
Hansell says all 450 pies that were available for July have been claimed. Though Chrissy’s has only been around for a little over a year, he’s gained a fierce set of fans, a growing army that includes a recent visit from rapper Action Bronson. Some say they’ve waited more than six months to grab a slot.
Comments are flooding his pizzeria’s Instagram in response to the crash. “Error message for every time slot. That’s how you know volume is high!! Whew… Congrats to those able to get one looks like I’ll have to wait my turn,” one user wrote. Another said their chances had set sail. “Man my flight back to Canada leaves at 5.30 p.m. on July 11 and the earliest slot was 4.30 p.m.!!! Bro I’m devastated!!!!”
Hansell said he learned his lesson and he’s going to do away with the pre-order format for the future. Though he’s staying hush-hush about whether this is a permanent brick-and-mortar or a residency, he’s treating it like home for now. He’ll continue to serve 16-inch pies, slightly smaller than regular size, with no slices for purchase, to ensure he isn’t taking on more than he can chew.
Hansell is the frontman of the band Warthog, and it’s through music that he and Superiority Burger owner Brooks Headley came to be connected. Hansell says the takeover came from when Headley ordered one of the pies, and then later sent an eight-paragraph glowing message, which he wasn’t expecting, in return. He used the space first to test out his oven, and from there, the idea of collaboration blossomed; he’s become a source of guidance for Headley, according to GQ, through the process of opening the new Superiority Burger.
On Ninth Street, Hansell is working with Chris Fratesi, who operated his own pizza pop-up, Fratesi’s in Miami, before relocating to New York to help Chrissy’s Pizza.
Hansell only joined New York pizza professionally in the last couple of years — in 2021, he was brought onto Andrew Bellucci’s Astoria pizzeria, before he died earlier this year, and later worked at L’Industrie, with a short stint at F&F Pizzeria. “It was the most surprising thing in the world,” to Hansell that his New York-style pies, an ode to his dad who grew up in Laurelton, Queens, took off in such a short time. “I knew my friends liked it but I didn’t think of it as a job, I was thinking maybe I’d go back into kitchens — I don’t have a college degree or anything like that,” he says.
But Hansell is in good company, with a growing pop-up scene of next-generation pizzaioli, putting their own spin on classics. “We weren’t doing it right, and we’re still not doing things right,” he says of his electric oven as well as his general self-assessment.
And, that’s precisely why Hansell has gained his followers — even those clawing for a taste in the comments section — he isn’t taking it all too seriously.