Vic’s Pizza on the Lower East Side has been selling New York’s staple food for 45 years.
On Saturday, the restaurant will bake its last pie before closing its doors for good. Victor Mendez, 48, Vic’s owner, said the pizzareia’s fate was inevitable after his neighbors closed shop recently.
“When they came to close Flowers Café next door, they mentioned that we had to get out,” he said.
Mendez says he doesn’t know what was being done with property at 51 Essex Street, only that “the building’s coming down.”
Interboro Properties, the owner of the building, filed for permission to build a six-story mixed-use structure on the lot, according to the city’s building department records. The company didn’t return a call for comment by press time.
Mendez tried to relocate to elsewhere in the neighborhood, but the “ridiculous” rents of $5,000 or more for commercial spaces deterred him.
“I don’t understand it. The neighborhood is changing, people are asking for double the rent, triple,” he said.
Asked if he planned to start another restaurant or keep looking to move, Mendez sighed.
“I’m just going to shut it down. I’m going to forget it, go to work, find whatever I can find, and that’ll be the end of it,” he said.