Staff Picks: Rose's Pizza in Penn Station closes, hungry riders waiting for trains weep
By Bob Doda, News 12 Digital
It was almost
Seinfeldian, in a sense. The line required you to move quickly, SPEAK UP and
know exactly what you wanted.
There were tap beers
from around the world in tall plastic cups. Fresh manhole-sized pizza pies flew
out of the oven as quick as they went in. The cashier made change at
lightning speed. The grated cheese shakers were always full.
And there was always time
to sit and eat, because your train wasn’t coming for another 45 minutes.
Rose’s Pizza in Penn
Station, a longtime favorite spot for pre- or post-event meals and
often a necessity for those needing “something in their system,” is closing
One final trip to Rose's, Credit: AJ Carlson
For years, my brain
became preconditioned to its floppy yet sturdy, “nice and hot” slices as
soon as my foot hit the floor of the Long Island Rail Road. I know I’m not
alone. The internet told me so.
Tommy Ranieri, of
Commack, wrote a heartfelt post
on his Facebook page after getting one last
“I’ll never forget
before the [Penn Station] expansion when it was a little hole in the wall spot
where I’d get a quick slice before a Knicks game. My junior year of college,
when I was commuting ridiculous hours in and out of the city on 18-hour days,
Rose’s fed me. Since October, I’ve been back to commuting during the week, and
yet again, they’ve been there for me time and time again.”
He also says that he
spoke with the owner, who told him “it is what it is.”
A perfect place for a slice. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Last year, the
Partnership for New York City estimated that roughly one-third of the city’s
240,000 small businesses might not make it through the pandemic. With its
reliance on heavy foot traffic and dwindling LIRR ridership, it’s a surprise
that it hung on this long.
On Thursday, an
estimated 70,000 people
used the LIRR, down 77% from last year. However, the reason for its closure was not entirely clear and could be due to renovations of the LIRR concourse.
Tributes to the famed
pizza spot struck a similar chord, most included it being a reliable
source of food after a night of partying and missing the train home.
It happens. Especially
to me. I woke up like I was just born in the seating area of the restaurant in
the early morning hours after the Phish
show on Dec. 29, 2012
But I’ll mostly
remember Rose's for the slices I would get before or after Rangers games
with my brother
when we had season tickets. Somehow, they fit ricotta, chicken
and sausage on the same wedge of happiness.
I always told people
that Rose's was my favorite pizza place (Matt’s Pizza, Little Vincent’s get
an honorable mention). Rob Howard
, a Hicksville native, may have said
it best in his online tribute: “You may have been in Manhattan, but you’ll
always belong to Long Islanders.”
News 12 Social Media Producer Greg Cannella and Digital Producer Abby Del Vecchio at Rose's.