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Koronet Pizza Brings Its Giant Slices to Washington Heights

By Nigel Chiwaya | December 3, 2012 10:30am | Updated on December 3, 2012 7:28pm

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — Koronet Pizza is bringing its massive pizza slices farther uptown.

The Morningside Heights-based pizzeria beloved by Columbia University students and neighbors for its gigantic, $2.50 slices has taken its act up north, opening a second location in Washington Heights.

New York Koronet pizza, located at 4087 Broadway, opened its doors to customers on Nov. 2, treating uptowners to the 32-inch pizzas that made it a hit with its original location.

Owner Cleon Minakas said that the restaurant opened with a bang, handing out free slices to customers on its first day and creating a line that stretched down Broadway and around 172nd street.

"We had to stop by 8:30 p.m. because we were running out of materials," Minakas said.

Koronet has been slinging slices to Columbia University students at Broadway and 110th street since 1981, but the combination of lower uptown rents and close proximity to Columbia University Medical Center made Washington Heights an attractive location when the family-owned restaurant decided to expand.

"After 31 years we thought it might be a good idea to open another one," said Minakas, who lives in Astoria.

So far Minakas said that business has been "okay," but he added that new customers are still wowed by the jumbo slices, which are almost as large as the trays they're served on.

"People see it and they say, 'Oh my God, it's so big; can I take a picture of it?'" Minakas said.

While converting stragglers to customers has been slow, the restaurant has had big appeal to Columbia Medical Center students, many of whom remembered the giant slices from their undergraduate days.

One such student, Adam De Fazio, was thrilled when he stumbled upon the new location.

"The limited pizza options up here are not very good," De Fazio said as he ordered a slice with a friend, Michelle Castro.

Minakas said the family would eventually like to open additional locations around the city. They plan to use the Washington Heights store as a litmus test.

"Let's just see how business goes here first," Minakas said.