Wood- and coal-fired pizzerias under threat in NYC

I’m surprised no one has raised this topic. It bodes ill for other wood-cooked foods as well.

Things are really getting out of hand! What will they ban next?

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Barbecue? Outdoor grills?

I’ll take bets on how many posts before this thread gets locked.
Looks like the wingnut whining industry is already in high gear, based on a quick Google search.
Give me no scrubbers or give me death!

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Case in point

This. Is. Excellent. Thanks for the chuckle.

Wish I could share this in my Facebook food group, but it’s a bit too politically tinged :wink:

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There’s a lot in the Wonkette article that I think folks should think about, but the most relevant quote is the following (which I believe is actually fact):

"The only thing the rule requires is for pizzeria owners to have an architect or engineer come check out the oven, and see if it’s feasible to install an emissions scrubber. If it’s not, they can apply for a waiver.
An even stronger piece of evidence against the anonymous “pizza restaurateur’s” claim is that this rule is already in place. It’s been nearly a decade since New York passed its 2015 law requiring emissions-scrubbing technology on commercial wood- and coal-fired ovens built after 2016."

These are specific pollution control measures, not general climate control issues. And they are real. There are plenty of stupid regulations (& political statements) to rail about that affect lots of small business owners unfairly and might even be stretched to affect other industries as well. But telling car manufacturers to put emission controls on their autos wasn’t one of them. This isn’t either. We’ll do a “gofundme” for the rare pizza place that cant afford it.


This is so not news. No successful coal fired pizza place is going to go out of business because of this. Must be a slow news day. The more striking thing is how much a pizza costs these days. A large pie with multiple toppings is $30+ now from any of the better places. I ordered a couple of large pies, some apps and salad for delivery from Table 87 which has a coal fired oven and it was over $100 after tax, service charge and tip. Tell that to people outside oh NYC to get them really going.


Wow. I won’t ever complain again about my favorite Neapolitan pizza place in Berlin having raised their prices from an average of 7-9 Euro to now closer to 12-14€.

Of course, Berlin isn’t NYC.


Here is the menu for Table 87, our local coal fired go to for delivery

Here’s the one for Julianna which is the place that Patsy Grimaldi opened when he came out of retirement back into his original space with the coal fired oven

And the menu for Grimaldi’s which had to build a new coal fired oven when they lost the lease on the original spot that Patsy took and is a tourist favorite for those who don’t know any better


A large pie with anything more than tomato sauce and cheese is $30+ now at any of these places and they do great business. So any place that has a coal fired oven that needs to add pollution control scrubbers will be fine. The guy who threw the pizza at City Hall was just looking for attention.


John I read your blog post. Are you going to correct it or leave it as is with the misinformation? I’m no fan of government overreach but getting facts right is always important.


See the comments to the post.

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Thank you.

Classic case of reading the headlines and ignoring the article.



There’s almost this fetishism that goes on about coal fired ovens for pizza. So I wanted to link to this wonderful graphic story from the NYT.

You can make great pizza from a gas oven in addition to wood or coal. In fact one of the greatest pizza places in the New Haven area uses a standard gas fired pizza oven. Frankly I prefer Zuppardi’s clam pie to any from Pepe or the others. Perfection.



Thanks to everyone for their comments and corrections. I have adjusted the pice accordingly. https://johntannersbbqblog.wordpress.com/2023/07/01/new-york-city-declares-war-against-pizza/


john, i’m afraid your clarification still gets it wrong:

“ Rather, it is simply a betrayal of those pizza places, like John’s and Paulie’s, that had been grandfathered in under the earlier law, which was passed in 2015 or 2016, that is, before the ravages of COVID, inflation, and labor shortages hit the restaurant industry, and when the pizza places are much less able to meet new requirements”

the law stated that anyone building a new wood fired pizza oven after 2016 had to have a scrubber and existing wood fired ovens were given until 2020 to install one. 2020 rolled around and the law was not enforced, perhaps due to the burdens of covid. now the law is being enforced. You can read the details of the law here or in the city record:

the “grandfathering” you mention was the delay in enforcement until 2020. As such, your statements about breaking agreements and trust are incorrect.

as for your concern over the taste of pizza, paulie gee, in the article you linked had this to say:
Giannone of Paulie Gee’s, said that despite assertions to the contrary, the air scrubbers will not affect the quality of the taste or texture of the pies.

“If someone is trying to say that putting the scrubber in changes the flavor of the pizza they’re just trying to save themselves $20,000. No, it doesn’t affect what’s going on inside the oven,” he said. “No, it hasn’t changed the taste. It hasn’t changed the pizza. It hasn’t changed our product at all.”

if one reads the actual law instead of relying on the post’s article, you may notice the law mentions reductions in “particulate matter” as opposed to the Post’s “carbon emissions”. I’m sure you’re aware, these are not the same thing. Since we don’t want to get into politics here, I’ll leave it to readers of this thread to ponder why the NY Post, elon musk, and others have conflated the two terms.

as for bbq restaurants, not sure if it was your intent to imply blue smoke, after an 18 year run, closed due to their air handler as opposed to the ravages of the pandemic. additionally, i could be wrong, but I thought all wood-fired pits in nyc were already required to use scrubbers.

Let me close by saying as a former NYC business owner, burdened by what I believe to be over-regulation, I do love your lead in: “In its latest attack on happiness…” and personally I’d support an exemption to the 2015 law for pre-2016 ovens.




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