By Tara Kyle
CHELSEA — Lux shopping mall Limelight Marketplace officially welcomed famed pizzeria Grimaldi's to its Sixth Avenue home Wednesday night with a party — but slices won't be available to the public for at least another week.
Most shops inside the historic church and onetime nightclub, located at West 20th Street, opened to fanfare last spring, but the launch date for Limelight's biggest name tenant, Grimaldi's, has been repeatedly delayed.
As complimentary pizza was passed out at the venue Wednesday night, Grimaldi's manager Gina Peluso said she was now targeting an early February opening for the franchise's first expansion into Manhattan.
"It's always fun and exciting; this is a great little place here," Peluso said of the move into Limelight. "Brooklyn is very touristy, and I think we'll get more residents and business customers here."
One neighboring vendor, sales associate Shannon Goldberg of Om Aroma & Co. Beauty Bar, said she was hopeful that some of the extra foot traffic brought by Grimaldi's would bring extra business to the anti-aging spa and skincare line.
Limelight also celebrated three other recent newcomers to the Marketplace Wednesday — Modalistas fashion boutique, Cana Wine Bar and Ruby et Violette, a Hell's Kitchen-based purveyor of gourmet chocolate chunk cookies.
Standing in front of a line-up of 18 different cookie varieties (including rose, red velvet and lemon white) barista Erica Manta said she believed the savory flavors offered downstairs at Grimaldi's would pair well with their desserts.
Ruby et Violette's move into Limelight in December was their first expansion beyond their home of ten years at 457 W. 50th St.
"We love our café in Hell's Kitchen, but it's a little out of the way, you don't get a lot of people passing by," Manta said. "This is an opportunity to get more people in."