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New Pizza Shop Aims to Bring Old-School New York Vibe

By John Santore | February 11, 2016 6:18pm
 Scarr Pimentel, the owner of Scarr's Pizza, said he wants the store to emulate the pizza parlors he remembers from his youth in New York. 
Scarr's Pizza
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LOWER EAST SIDE — A neighborhood filling up with modern developments will soon include a new way to revisit the 1980's. 

On Tuesday, Scarr Pimentel plans to swing open the doors to Scarr's Pizza, a pizza parlor and bar at 22 Orchard St. he says will combine high-quality food with the architectural aesthetic he grew up around. 

"I wanted to do something with a real New York energy," Pimentel said. The restaurant owner, in his mid-30s, said he spent much of his youth growing up in West Harlem, Astoria and Long Island City. 

His father owned a diner and his grandmother owned a cafe, he said, involving him in the food industry early. He said he learned to make pizza while working as a waiter at Lombardi's Pizza, an interest that stuck. 

Pimentel said he acquired his Orchard Street space last year, and has worked to give it "a New York vibe that hasn't been around for a very long time."

The walls are covered with custom-made wood from a company in Seattle, he said, while the ceiling lamps, fans and booths — immediately recognizable to anyone who spent time in '80s or '90s New York — came from a bowling alley in New Jersey. 

Guests will also be able to enjoy beer and wine at a bright white formica bar, while sitting on vintage stools. Cans and bottles won't be available, Pimental said, in order to reduce waste.  

Pimentel said profits from alcohol sales will help offset the production cost of his pizza, pulled from a gas oven in front of a movie poster for Spike Lee's iconic 1989 film "Do The Right Thing." 

The flour will be milled on site, he said, while mozzarella will come from a neighborhood distributor. And most of the vegetables will grow in the soil tended by Gotham Greens. Pimentel said the goal is to offer "food that's good for you without the pretension." 

The price will start at $3 for a slice and $22 for an 18-inch pie. Personal pizzas will also be offered, while the lactose intolerant can look forward to a clam pizza accentuated with dairy-free clam sauce, a "dusting" of pecorino romano cheese, and parsley. 

And for dessert? Offerings from Gino's Italian Ices — a business Pimentel said he visited often while growing up — will be available.     

Pimentel said he wants his shop connected to the community, adding that he'll offer a reduced-price deal for kids that will help him compete with 99-cent slice operations. He also hopes to support local schools and community activities. 

Scarr's Pizza will be open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays. It will be closed on Mondays.