We've received a tip that the Famous Ray's pizza located at the busy corner of Sixth Avenue and 11th Street has gone to the great pizza oven in the sky. "The historical Original Famous Ray's Pizza on the corner of 6th and 11th has closed," our source said. "The glass is newspapered with a note saying 'rent too high, lost lease.' A total travesty and devastation to the West Village." First rogue urinators, now this? There go the neighborhood's property values!
This, of course, is not to be confused with the original Ray's Pizza on Prince Street, which was rumored to be closing last month. For what it's worth, we just called them, and not only are they still open, but the employee who answered the phone defiantly informed us the establishment would "never" close.
This particular Ray's opened in '70s, and Mario DiRienzo, the former owner, explained to the Times that he named his joint after "a small town I come from. Although I am a Mario, in Roio I am also a Ray. The name Ray is a nickname for the family name of Di Rienzo. Every family has a nickname in my town. Someone asks, 'Did you see Mario?' and there are so many Marios in town you have to ask 'Which Mario?', so the answer is Mario Ray. And so my restaurant became The Famous Ray's Pizza. If it were The Famous Mario's, you would have to ask 'Which Mario?' "