He just doesn’t knead the dough anymore.
Greenpoint fast-food institution Carmine’s Original Pizza quietly closed its doors on July 1, after nearly 35 years of slinging slices on Norman Avenue between Manhattan Avenue and Leonard Street. Elderly owner Carmine Notaro wasn’t priced out of the area like so many other neighborhood businesses, said family members — he just wanted to spend more time with his loved ones.
“He finally decided it was time to slow it down,” said his son John Notaro, who spoke on behalf of his dad. “He is ready to take a break.”
The pizzeria’s business was steady, but it had changed considerably over the years, the younger Notaro said. When his dad first opened the pie emporium in 1981, most of the customers were neighborhood factory workers who frequented the shop for lunch. The business started doing more sales at night when all the factories shut down in the 1990s and the 2000s, he said. And as Greenpoint has gentrified, many more eateries have opened up nearby.
“It got a lot harder to make money and there was a lot more competition,” said Notaro.
Carmine Notaro broke his silence on Monday, posting a goodbye message to his loyal customers on the pizzeria’s Facebook page.
“I thank every person who ever walked into Carmine’s Original Pizza for your business, your conversation and your friendship,” the elder Notaro wrote. “I will remember and miss you all.”
John Notaro said that neither he nor any of his siblings were interested in continuing the family business.