Rizzo’s Fine Pizza Bringing a Slice of Queens to LES

DSC00283Kavitha Team Rizzo’s

An Astoria favorite is aiming to expand into the space that held Frankies 17 and later Francesca’s. The Local spotted the owners of Rizzo’s Fine Pizza at 17 Clinton Street last night, drumming up signatures in support of a beer and wine license.

Rizzo’s is a popular family-run operation that specializes in thin-crust pies. The original location, opened in 1959, still stands at 30-13 Steinway Street and there’s an offshoot on the Upper East Side at 1426 Lexington Avenue.

When it opens in about two months, the 20-seat location will have a rustic vibe and be a bit more formal than the original.

After eight months of searching for a third location, the owners stumbled on the empty storefront on Clinton Street a few weeks ago. “It just felt right,” said one of the owners, who goes by the name Bugsy. “You know when something feels right? This block felt right.”

But in the pizza-crammed Lower East Side, it’s fair to wonder – has Clinton Street already reached a slice-per-block saturation point? Down the street, San Marzano is already serving up classic brick oven Neapolitan pies and Nonna’s LES Pizzeria doles out Sicilian-style squares. When asked what Rizzo’s will bring to the table, Bugsy replied, “60 years of experience.” That, and maybe a bit of Queens swagger.