Francesco Pizzeria Expected to Reopen After Delayed Renovation

By Carol Tannenhauser

Questions have been coming in about the status of Francesco Pizzeria, on Columbus Avenue between 68th and 69th Streets, whose gate has been down since mid-August. People are worried: Is it closed for good?

“At first it wasn’t unusual,” a devoted customer told us. “We’ve been going there for 25 years and they always close for two weeks in August. But when August turned into September, we became concerned. One night, on our way to the movies, we saw that the lights were on and the owner, Adrian, was there. He let us in and we asked him, ‘What’s going on?’ He said they were renovating and they got held up on permits by the Department of Buildings, but now they got them and they’ll finish and re-open as soon as they can.”

A recorded telephone message reiterates her story and says Francesco will reopen in two to three weeks. The permits are displayed on the door, above an A rating.

When asked why she seemed so relieved, the customer replied, “It’s reliable, the food is always good, and there’s nothing else like it in the neighborhood.”

Jeff Simon, a WSR reader, said Francesco has “the best pizza on the UWS.”

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 18 comments | permalink
    1. UWSHebrew says:

      Jeff, you have to get out more! Francesco is strictly average pizza, so many better options on the UWS! Have you been to Made In New York Pizza on 80th? Mama’s Too! on 105th? I gave Francesco a few chances over the years, always the same, nothing worth remembering!

    2. Lilly says:

      Francescos’s is wonderful. Their red sauce is outstanding. So relieved it’s just a renovation. They are a gift to the overpriced, underwhelming food in this neighborhood.

    3. BillyNYC says:

      Best pizza on the UWS is Coppola‘s on W. 79th St. near Amsterdam Avenue across the street from Lucerne’s Hotel.

      • RK says:

        We love coppolas but it’s not NY pizza, it’s Neapolitan pizza, and not so great for that. Don’t get me wrong, we still eat it a lot, but gotta put it in context.

    4. JaySho says:

      For the best pizza in city: walk right around the corner to the unassuming La Traviata Pizzeria [101 W 68th St].

      Franceso good for casual sitdown dinners- agree there’s nothing like it in UWS. Welcome back.

      • UWSHebrew says:

        more forgettable pizza. do you and Jeff only stick to a three block radius from where you live? come on man…

      • Ish Kabibble says:

        Agree that La Traviata is the best in the hood, hands down!

        • Sherman says:

          La Traviata is good but no room to eat. Everything is takeout.

          Mama’s Too and Made in New York are my favorites.

          Francesco’s is also very good. I’m glad they’re reopening.

    5. Resident10023 says:

      Forget the pizza. It is a good place for vernacular red-sauce dinners. Ingredients are fresh, portions are generous and tasty. Just walk in — and you can tell by the smell that they are serious about good food. The veal parm would feed three people

      • TakeOut Maven says:

        Re: “Forget the pizza. It is a good place for vernacular red-sauce dinners.”

        DEFINITELY! For those of us whose most-important kitchen utensil is The Telephone (and a land-line at that!!) their take-out menu is a total delight.

        Amazing range of choices (way-y-y beyond pizza), prices are reasonable, delivery is prompt, and food is yummy, never gummy.

    6. VERONICA says:

      Lilly:- I’ve seen their outstanding red sauce in institutional size cans piled on pallets on the sidewalk in the morning.

    7. Lauren Lese says:

      Such good news! Francesco’s is a neighborhood institution for good reason. Traditional pizza place where you can sit and eat comfortably, feed your kids, not spend a fortune. Everyone goes there. Well maybe not the very special pizza connoisseurs. That’s OK.

    8. JL says:

      Sad state of UWS Pizza. Lenny’s (was near the 1,2,3 train) was great old school NYC pizza when I first moved here. It went downhill after the younger guys fancied it up and the business promptly crashed. Rigolettos was very good but short lived by pizza standards.

      Mama’s Too adds good fresh pizza energy into the UWS. Apparently chili/honey sauce is a thing now.

      Most of the good pizza action is in Brooklyn these days. Artichoke Pizza downtown is good but overpriced at $6+TAX a slice !!!

    9. Lyn says:

      Went there for the first time a few months ago. Had a medium pizza- crust was too thick and doughy. It seems they use the same crust for the large and medium pizzas. Since we like thin crust pizza we found their’s was too thick. Maybe the large size is better if they use the same crust and expand it more.

    10. New yowkah says:

      I agree about the best pizza part. 😉

    11. Chase says:

      I was told by employees they had a problem with the gas and the whole building had been effected. sounds like conflicting reports.

      Francesco’s Pizza is basically garbage and they’re very over priced for what you get, basically a lincoln center trap but I like they’re open late.