Brooklyn pizzeria owner might steer clear of York Boulevard*

Who will move into Italiano’s on York?

Italiano’s Pizza has left behind its York Boulevard  storefront, with the Highland Park pizza parlor focusing operations on its remaining store on Figueroa.  What’s going into that York Boulevard space? Not Paulie Gee’s, the well-regarded Brooklyn pizzeria owned by Paul Gianonne.  Gianonne last month said he was working with a local partner to open a Los Angeles outlet – featuring one of his wood-fired pizza ovens – on York Boulevard.  In fact, Gianonne told The Eastsider he “fell in love” with Italiano’s, which was up for sale, but things did not work out. Apparently another tenant is preparing to move in.  Now, faced with intense competition for space on York Boulevard, Gianonne said he might end up opening a Paulie Gee’s in downtown.

“We wanted to leave the dining room just the way it was, with all of its old school charm and just drop one of our wood fired oven’s in there. It was perfect,” Gianonne said in an email. “Whomever is moving in is very fortunate.  I hope they are smart enough to retain the character of the dining room.”

Gianonne said that “we love that stretch of York Boulevard and believe there is no better community to be in all of L.A.” but he is going to have to shift his search to downtown if he can’t find a suitable location soon on York. “If you or any of your readers learn of any potential spaces on York in the neighborhood of 3000sf, please let me know.”

* Correction: A previous story said Italiano’s moved to a new location on Figueroa.  That’s wrong. The Figueroa Italiano’s had already been in operation.


  1. This location on Figueroa was already there…So they are going from 2 locations to only one!

  2. Why not find space on Figueroa between Avenues 60 &51? The best pizza by far on that stretch is Foliero’s and I rarely find myself craving their pizza. Highland Park exists beyond York and Avenues 51-52.

  3. does anybody know why italiano’s closed this location?

  4. Guy–Because Italianio’s Pizza sucks. How they stayed open for so long is beyond me.

    Brooklyn Pizza spots like Paulie Gee’s or Grimaldi’s would fit in well on this stretch of York. Heck, Masa of Echo Park should have opened a second location here.

    Let’s hope whatever is moving in is a good one just so we can keep the momentum going.

    Also, why should another pizza place open on Fig? There is already Foliero’s there.

  5. Maybe they can took over the car smog station next to scoops and donut friend. That place needs to go.

    • No way!! Don’t even try to run the smog guy out! He’s a great guy. Been going there for years. My car always passes and it’s quick. On top of that, he’s always pleasant and gracious. I would encourage everyone in the neighborhood to utilize his shop.

  6. Can we please have a breakfast joint,with booths, Rice Krispies,and hash browns? Pretty please.

  7. I hope it is a taco joint.

  8. I talked to the smog guy. He’s not ready to leave. Any other ideas?


    Paulie Gee

  9. I find it interesting that the smog guy does not want to leave considering his place is sandwiched by trendy shops. Maybe talk to the party supply store across from Cafe De Leche. That’s a prime spot right there.

    I live nearby in South Pasadena. I have to say that it’s amazing how York is transforming so much that I am there regularly.

    • I’m sure that you didn’t intend your comment to sound smug and elitist, but that’s the way I interpreted it. In five sentences, you managed to confirm the fears of the anti-gentrification folks (by implying that the “smog guy” should vacate because his shop is “sandwiched by trendy shops,” and then suggesting that the party supply store should vacate for the same reason), and then, as if to cement your elite status, casually mentioned that you live in South Pasadena.

    • Wth.
      That smog guy is way nice.

      Stay in South Pas. Types like you don’t contribute to the community feel HLP has.

  10. There are still a good amount of available places a little further east on York. There would be a little less foot traffic perhaps, but Maximilliano’s does great business as does Fusion Burger.

    • There are also quite a few vacant/empty storefronts further west on York, on the north side of the street. I’m guessing that some of them have been (illegally) converted to living quarters, but maybe they’re just vacant. Seems to me there are lots of spots for new stores to open up without displacing successful local businesses, even if folks who visit from South Pasadena find party-supply stores and smog-check shops offensive.

      • Good call. Yeah trying to displace businesses that have been on York in those two blocks for years is not what folks should be doing, when there are empty places just a couple blocks away.

  11. I don’t want to displace anyone. I would love to share that space caddy corner (or is it kitty corner?) from Cafe de Leche with the art gallery.

  12. I implore you Paulie Gee-find a way to open a spot on York Boulevard-or Figueroa Street-without displacing anyone of course: ) I am a former Echo Park resident (7 years) who bought in Highland Park/Mt. Washington in 2009-because I couldn’t afford a house for half a million in Echo Park. Highland Park truly feels to me like Echo Park did 10 years ago-edgy, artsy and alive-and I believe it is ready for even more quality establishments such as yours. BTW, your pizzas look AMAZING- I am a cheese lover so dollops of ricotta on a pizza are like pillows of heaven to me…. good luck wherever you go!

    • Thanks Katherine. I’ll will do my best. There is no place I’d rather be. I even love your pool hall. Here I am playing billiards (not pool) at Highland Park Billiards (maybe we can co-locate with them):


      • Sharing that spot would kill the vibe the billiards place has going on.

        There’s a bunch of empty store fronts on York.
        Have you tried Colorado or Eagle Rock Blvd? Even Glendale is not too far check it out Glendale was voted best neighborhood in LA on the LAcurbed.com website.

        I’ve heard a lot of good things about your food. Can’t wait to try your pizza.

      • Co-locating with Highland Park Billiards is a fantastic idea. Whoever mentioned Glendale I’m laughing so hard right now.

        If this is a brooklyn pizza spot, I’m assuming the owner is gravitating to a neighborhood with a similar makeup of BK. Glendale is far from a hipster haven. If you are looking for a neighborhood similar to BK you go with Highland Park, Echo Park, Atwater Village, Dowtown L..A.

        Silver Lake sure, but I’m sure rent is pretty crazy over there.

        • Gary, do you mean me?
          What’s wrong with Glendale? It has a lot more going on than York. There are more restaurants than on York. Also, the bars are better in my opinion. although, who can argue with 2 beers for $5 bucks at the Tavern on Brand. Good beers too like Guinness, Firestone IPA and XX.
          Also, Glendale is cleaner with a good vibe.

  13. What about that large space next to the Highland theater on what must be the 5600 block of Figueroa? It has a beautiful facade and is currently empty. Or on the other side of Figueroa from Avenues 56-58? With La Cuevita, The Greyhound, Antigua, Chez Antoine, and Good Girl Dinette, there seems to be a nascent dining scene there. Also, to answer an earlier question, I like Foliero’s for the cheap family Italian place every neighborhood should have, but I don’t ever find myself getting their pizza for any reason beyond convenience. Someplace to compete for my money with Luggage Room in Pasadena or Casa Bianca in ER would be well worth it for me at least.

  14. Has anything gone into the Verdugo Pet Store yet? Or one of the now defunct MMDs across from The York???

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