Patsy's has been promising pizza for almost a year now. When the venerable red-sauce joint at 3651 Navajo Street was sold last fall to Kim DeLancey and Ron Cito (second cousin of founder Chubby Aiello), one of the managers there told me that pizza -- a return to something that Patsy's had been known for -- was "on its way." This from December 2008:
"Everything old is new again," general manager W.B. Coit told me when I got him on the phone, but then he assured me that DeLancey and Cito recognized they were buying into a more than eighty-year-old tradition and would be making few changes. "They're staying the course," he said. "They have not gone for the pan-Asian fusion yet. No sashimi."
But they have gone for one old standard: Patsy's will soon serve pizza again. Even as we spoke, Coit told me that Cito was in the kitchen, "working to kit up an oven we have here. If that doesn't work, we'll probably turn it into low-income housing. The thing is just a tank."
And now, it looks as though that promise has finally been fulfilled. Driving by Patsy's today, on the way to another neighborhood institution for breakfast, I saw the sign draped over the big front windows of the expansion next door to Patsy's: "Patsy's Pizza, Now Open."
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Granted, there was no one in the storefront at that moment; neither was the enchanting aroma of freshly-baked pizzas drifting through the air (as I always imagine attending the opening of any new pizzeria). Still, I'm looking forward to getting back to Patsy's and seeing whether this spot, with its decades of experience, can finally bring a great pie back to to the neighborhood.