Greenwich Village Landmark Famous Ray’s Pizza Closes


Newspapers went up in the windows of Famous Ray’s overnight.

Arguably the most famous of the endless iterations of pizza parlors named Ray’s in the city, Famous Ray’s of Greenwich Village gave up the ghost over the weekend.

The sign says it all.

A handwritten sign in the window cited a rent increase and consequent loss of their lease, and colorful international newspapers salvaged from the newsstand across the street, told the story.

Located at the busy corner of Sixth Avenue and West 11th Street, Famous Ray’s was founded in 1973, probably the earliest of the competing pizza parlors named Famous Ray’s, Original Famous Ray’s, Famous Original Ray’s, etc. All were presumably inspired by Ray’s Pizza on Spring Street, as recently chronicled in Eater.

Though the pizza was decidedly mediocre, it was a real neighborhood joint, beloved of students across the street at P.S. 41, and a pit stop for people visiting Greenwich Village from Westchester and New Jersey. This sort of neighborhood pizza parlor has become nearly obsolete under the onslaught of gilt-edge pizza parlors that have come to dominate the pie trade in the neighborhood.

Famous Ray’s had the dubious distinction of being included in Fork in the Road’s Five Worst Slices.

Mediocre pizza, but sad nonetheless

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