By Tara Kyle
CHELSEA — It seemed like the day might never really come, but Grimaldi's pizzas are finally, actually coming out of the oven and into the mouths of the public on Sixth Avenue and West 20th Street.
The pizzeria's Chelsea outpost has been the big-name tenant at Limelight Marketplace since the historic church and former nightclub's morphing into a luxury mall last spring.
But construction issues and other snags have repeatedly delayed Grimaldi's opening. Expectations have spiked in recent weeks.
"The anticipation was killing us," Grimaldi's area manager John Boyle said as he watched an early batch of pies get eaten following the pizzeria's 11:30 a.m. opening Thursday. "But it was worth the wait."
The new outpost shares the same "no slices" policy as Grimaldi's famed Brooklyn location. Beer, wine and soda are available in the 50 seat dining room.
"It's more fun than going to a normal pizza place," said student Peter Eliason, 20, while sharing a sausage and onion pie with Noelle Crump, 22. "I don't' know what they do to it, but it's good."
One thing you can't get, at least for now, at this Grimaldi's is dessert. That's in order to boost business at Limelight's slew of other sweets-centric tenants, such as cookie shop Ruby et Violette.
"We want to be good corporate citizens," Boyle said. "We're looking forward to all our Grimaldi's faithful finding their way to Limelight."