John’s of Bleecker Street is one of New York City’s most legendary pizzerias. Home to one of the few coal-fired brick pizza ovens in the city (they were grandfathered in after coal ovens were outlawed), it serves a thin-crust pie that hasn’t changed much since John Sasso opened the doors in 1929. Unlike most New York pizzerias, John’s has never delivered — but as of last month, they do.
The sit-down restaurant, with its old wooden booths, tin ceilings, and faded murals, still needs to be visited in order to be fully appreciated, but if you’ve got a hankering for the pizza, they’ll now deliver it to your door. Delivery is only $2 if you’re within the zone from the Hudson to Broadway and from Canal Street to 14th Street. For orders outside of that zone, delivery is $5 as far north as 23rd Street and as far south as Chambers. John’s will deliver between the hours of 11:30 a.m. and 10:30 p.m.
John’s has experimented with delivery in the past, but this is the first time it’s actually worked out. “We gave [Amazon Prime] about three months, but it really didn’t add up to anything because they were new and they didn’t have it down,” general manager Pete Garcia told Best Pizza NYC. And a trial run with Postmates didn’t work out because “instead of carrying a pizza like a regular pizza should be carried, they put it under their arm like a book and all the s**t would be falling out the bottom,” he added. An experiment with Grubhub didn’t work either, because the delivery men weren’t supplied with hot bags.
So the restaurant decided to take on delivery for themselves. They hired six bicycle delivery guys and bought bicycles outfitted with racks for carrying the pizza, bungee cords to hold the pizzas in place, and hot bags.
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