NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The original Ray’s Pizza closed its doors Sunday and plans to auction its equipment this week.

The Prince Street pizza institution closed once the final slice was served this weekend.

After more than 50 years in business, the popular pizza site will close up shop following a legal dispute with its landlord. The building owner claims that Ray’s is “holding out” on back rent.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon reports

Original Ray's Pizza (credit: Sonia Rincon / 1010 WINS)

Loyal customers snatched up $1.50 slices at Ray’s Sunday. High school sweethearts Michael and Roseanne found each other again at Ray’s and have been together ever since. They came out for a final Ray’s meal.

“It’s a neighborhood institution, establishment, and the food is great,” Michael told Sonia Rincon.

“The staff at Ray’s will be missed, the food, the prices – to me it’s a landmark. Our hearts are crying,” Roseanne said.

Manager Helen Mistretta calls the restaurant’s demise the end of an era.

“Ray used to say ‘If you don’t love what you do, you shouldn’t do it.’ I actually love what I do,” said pizza chef Jose Vargas.

Mistretta hopes to reopen the restaurant somewhere in the same neighborhood, provided she can find an affordable space.

What did you think of the original Ray’s? Sound off in our comments section below…

Comments (9)
  1. Meme Meyagi says:

    what is done about 7 million mooslime terrorists living in usa?

  2. Bob Chipeska says:

    No Pizza for you! – NEXT!


    No RENT for you!! – NEXT!

  3. DCLaw-1 says:

    They need a spot for Olive Garden or Pizza Hut…..the work of turning Manhattan into Topeka, Kansa continues, as most of those that live there now are not New Yorkers.

  4. jason says:

    I was a neighborhood resident from 2007-2010. This Ray’s slices were always decent enough in a pinch, but the attitude from behind the counter was sloppy and indifferent. I felt they had pretty much given up and were just in cruise control, like the rest of Little Italy. Blame it on the landlord, but iIf you don’t innovate your business or at least keep the standards going, you’re destined for this kind of ending…why would you expect it any different?

  5. pfarm says:

    you’re an idiot

  6. i remember says:

    way back in the 70’s we had about 15 pizza places in the city and they all claimed to be original RAY’S, the first RAY’S, RAY’S SINCE BEFORE EVERYOINE ELSE…and on and on. personally, all these years i always thought the real original one was on 6th ave. and 10th street. who knew? anyway, Ray and family, sorry to see you go.

  7. Staten Island Steven says:

    Pizza makes you obese. Maybe people should stop eating so much pizza and eat healthier foods for a change of pace.

    1. jtorres says:

      Pizza is actually quite nutritious, especially if you top it with vegetables. What makes people obese is that they don’t realize that the appropriate serving size is one, maybe 2, slices, not a whole pie. And not every day.

  8. Luis Martinez says:

    Love Ray’s pizza hope they open up soon anywhere,gonna miss the slice and the price,hope for a fast return,love your pizza…

Leave a Reply