David Portnoy, founder of the notoriously misogynistic website Barstool Sports, is reportedly collaborating with a Brooklyn pizza chef on a restaurant in the East Village. The blog Pizza Cowboy surfaced this news item, reporting that the new spot will be called Alright Frankie in reference Portnoy's pizza review series for Barstool Sports, meaning (as Pizza Cowboy points out) he's already got merch sitting around and ready to go. How convenient.
"Bring on the bros because it’s going to be SantaCon 365 days a year," the Pizza Cowboy jokes/warns — correctly, I will wager, because "El Presidente," as Portnoy likes to call himself on social media, has a loyal army of frat men at his command.
Alright Frankie will reportedly fill the space vacated by Percy's Tavern at 210 Avenue A at East 13th Street, and will reportedly serve bar pie. (i.e., personal pizzas on cracker crust, typically featuring just shredded mozzarella and tomato sauce, although hey maybe also some pep if you're lucky.) This, according to Pizza Cowboy, is the food of Portnoy's people: He comes from Swampscott, Massachusetts, located in New England's "bar pie belt."
Portnoy's partner in this venture will reportedly be chef Nino Coniglio, of Brooklyn Pizza Crew and Williamsburg Pizza. The latter confirmed the news to Eater, while taking care to clarify that it bears no affiliation "at all on ownership or marketing" with Alright Frankie. Which makes sense, as Portnoy is a polarizing (to put it kindly) figure. Most recently, he attracted the ire of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — among many, many others — when he waded into a conversation about efforts to unionize another publication, tweeting an old screed of his about his seething desire to do a little union busting. Seeing this, a writer at yet another publication tweeted an offer to chat with any Barstool employees about the unionizing process and "how little power your boss has to stop you." Portnoy, in turn, tweeted that he would fire anyone who contacted that writer "on the spot," and ditto a lawyer who popped up in the replies.
Watching the ratio develop on Twitter, AOC chimed in to remind everyone that threatening to axe staffers for collective bargaining is "likely breaking the law" — specifically, the 1935 National Labor Relations Act, which protects your right to unionize without retaliation. The National Labor Relations Board quickly launched an investigation.
But before all that, Portnoy and Barstool were perhaps better known for creating a sort of virtual fraternity house where bros of all ages, from all states, could talk sports and fist bump casual rape jokes and to rate the appearance of various women as "smokeshows." Portnoy has denied creating a toxic environment for women working within his company and outside of it, calling it "unfair" that people took his "off-the-cuff" comments seriously.
And now, he is adding pizza purveyor to this illustrious CV. No word on when it will open, but we will update if/when we learn more.