GREENWICH VILLAGE — Digging into a cheesy slice at the newly minted Famous Roio's Pizza on Sixth Avenue was like stepping into a time machine for Perry Street resident Tom Viniello.
"The memories came back to me with that first bite," he said. "It tastes exactly the same."
The pizzeria that opened in 1973 on West 11th Street as Famous Ray's Pizza closed in October after changing hands several times since the '80s.
On Monday, it reopened with its original management, recipe and a new name — Famous Roio's Pizza.
Slice lovers who remember Famous Ray's heyday said Tuesday night that Famous Roio's took them back.
"This was the first pizza place where you needed to use a knife and fork," said Viniello, who recalled people lining up outside the pizza joint at all times of day.
Patrick Wenzler, 35, said Famous Ray's served the supple-crusted pizza he ate after getting out of school at P.S. 41, across the street.
"This was it to me," he said. "This was the only Ray's I knew."
Longtime Famous Ray's fan Lenny Goldstein, 60, said the pizza — which runs $3 per plain slice and $21 per plain pie — was almost the same as what it was in the '70s.
"It's more cheese than I remember," he said.
Owner Mario DiRienzo, 70, renamed the shop in honor of his central Italian hometown, Roio del Sangro, where only about 60 people live year-round, he said.
"People there are excited about the name," he said, noting that news in the village spreads fast.
"You sneeze there and everyone catches cold."
The 465 Sixth Ave. shop was one of dozens of pizza places in the city named Ray's that were targeted in a lawsuit by rival eatery Famous Original Ray's Pizza last year that challenged use of the ubiquitous moniker.
After Famous Ray's closed in October, Famous Original Ray's, which operates several shops citywide, swooped in to take over the space.
But DiRienzo said in February a deal for the rival to run the slice shop was never sealed, despite Famous Original Ray's announcement in December that it would move in.
DiRienzo — who worked in embassy kitchens in Rome and as a chef for corporate executives in the city before opening his shop — said he wished he had named his shop after his hometown in the first place.
"Now everybody's happy," he said. "It's time to not get confused anymore with the other pizzerias.
"No hard feelings," he added.
DiRienzo expects to get Landmarks Preservation Commission approval within the next week to post the shop's new name on its sign, he said.
Even without the legendary Ray's name, DiRienzo's pizza is one of the city's last remaining pieces of the Ray's story.
The city's very first Ray's Pizza, which Ralph Cuomo opened in 1959, closed in December after the Prince Street building changed hands.