JP’s Food Adventures: Vic’s, a Classic Slice & Pac-Man

Vic's Pizza, 51 Essex Street. Photo by Cynthia Lamb.

I don’t eat pizza like I used to. A younger me had it several times a week. But that younger me usually biked 70 miles or so in that week. Current me is a bit more restrained, saving my pizza indulgence for the end of a busy day when a proper supper is just not going to happen. Usually I go for an upscale pie and a glass or two of red wine, so I can convince myself I’m not having junk food for dinner.

But I haven’t forgotten the pizza I grew up with. Like many in my generation, I have fond memories of hanging around my local slice joint, pumping quarters into Pac-Man. While my initials rarely made the high score screen, I did develop a lifelong fondness for a classic New York slice, dusted with garlic salt and crushed red pepper. If you grew up in this neighborhood chances are you got that slice at Vic’s (51 Essex Street). You may have played Pac-Man there, too.

355 Grand Street For Sale: $4.5 Million

The retail/residential combo building at the southwest corner of Grand and Essex is on the market.

In Lower East Side real estate market news this week, we learn that 355 Grand St. (aka 51 Essex St.) has just been listed for sale at $4.5 million. Per the listing from ERG Property Advisors:

The building is 3,200 square feet and is located on a 1,173-square-foot lot. It has approximately 7,061 total buildable square feet. The three-story property is comprised of two retail stores, one 2-bedroom apartment and one 1-bedroom apartment with outdoor space.  … There is a high amount of daytime foot traffic outside of the property. The area is relatively quiet at night and ideal for residential development.

The building currently houses Flowers Cafe, a small eatery facing Grand Street, as well as Vic’s Pizza, facing Essex. It is owned by Fizzo Realty, a New Jersey company headed by Joseph Pizzo, who acquired it in 1976, according to city land records. The structure dates back to at least 1901, when the buildings department first recorded work done there.