Ray’s Pizza on East Houston Closes to Make Way for 10-Story Ben Shaoul Development

Posted on: March 10th, 2015 at 5:00 am by
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And then there were three…

Famous Ray’s Pizza on East Houston – anchor tenant in the low-rise commercial strip between Orchard and Ludlow Streets for over a decade – is closed for good. The pizzeria wasn’t open during business hours yesterday, its dining room cluttered with price placards and the like. Phone calls go unanswered. It’s but the latest business to fall thanks to landlord-developer Ben “Sledgehammer” Shaoul.

Don’t feel too bad for Ray’s Pizza, though. According to public records, the Mangano family, which owned the corner parcel in question (187-195 East Houston, 196-200 Orchard), sold it to Shaoul for an undisclosed sum. Together with the air rights acquired from Katz’s Deli last summer, the Sledgehammer is on the precipice of constructing a ten-story building here. The mixed-use tumor boasts 94,923 square-feet of residential area and a commercial footprint of 13,463 square-feet. There will be 83 dwelling units and community facility space for a “physical culture establishment.”

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Three establishments remain open for the time being – Karaoke Boho, 200 Orchard, and Empanada Mama. All the others have either shuttered (Bereket, AAA Ichiban, Philly’s Cheese Steak, Tiehama Grocery) or relocated (Taqueria).

Ray’s Pizza didn’t always occupy this center space, though. 195 East Houston was previously home to Rosario’s Pizza, founded by Sal Bartolomeo’s uncle Rosario in 1963. It moved thirty-five years later to the current location at the corner of Orchard and Stanton Streets.

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