Sam’s closing? Fuhgedaboudit! Legendary pizzeria quashes rumors (and, perhaps, our kneecaps)

See, we have pizza? Sam’s Restaurant, which has been on Court Street for decades, is NOT closing. Here, Louis Migliaccio serves a pie to Marylee Pratnicki, Lou DiTucci and Angela Larca from Long Branch, N.J.
The Brooklyn Paper / Tom Callan

You heard it here first, nothing is changing at Sam’s restaurant on Court Street, despite a whirlwind of rumors this week that the creator and head pizza chef, Mario Magliaccio, had retired and was moving back to Italy.

Upon hearing the initial rumor, of course, The Brooklyn Paper headed straight to the classic Carroll Gardens Italian restaurant to bid farewell to the old man.

Instead, we came face to angry face with Louis Magliaccio, Mario’s son, who set the record straight.

“We’re not closing,” he said. “I’m getting sick and tired of this. If I keep hearing these rumors, people are going to pay the ultimate price. If me or any of my family members find anything contrary to [the truth], there’s going to be trouble.

“My friends are very vindictive people,” he added.

Whoa, hey, hey, hey, we’re cool here, whoa! So to reiterate: nothing is changing at Sam’s.

That said, at the risk of getting our noses out of alignment, we do have to report that this rumor, like so many others, started with a semolina grain of truth: Mario’s wife died last year, and the widower is indeed back home in Italy.

But he’s only on vacation. We swear! He’s coming back!

Um, he’s coming back, right?

“He’ll come back when he decides to,” said Louis. “He’s 81, he’s entitled to relax.”

For now, Louis is in charge, and the 60-year-old place feels like it always did (and we’re not just saying that because we like our kneecaps). Louis makes the pizza the same way his old man did, which makes sense, given that he grew up in the restaurant, and in the family’s apartment upstairs.

So there you have it, folks. Head to Sam’s for one of the best pizza pies New York has to offer. Don’t believe us? But Louis Magliaccio told us so!

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