In a statement shared with The Infatuation Friday, Prince Street Pizza announced that owners Frank and Dominic Morano would be stepping down from day-to-day operations after accounts of racist comments made to customers on social media and Yelp surfaced.
Over the past few weeks, restaurant and food-world observer, Joe Rosenthal, has uncovered and exposed multiple accounts indicating a history of racial discrimination at Prince Street Pizza in Nolita (and now Los Angeles), as well as racist messaging from members of the Prince Street ownership team on Yelp and social media.
Rosenthal surfaced multiple Yelp reviews detailing customers’ experiences of identity-based mistreatment when interacting with Prince Street Pizza staff, as well as screenshots of PSP’s racist responses to the customer complaints. In one instance, PSP commented on a Yelp review saying, “You are a disgrace too [sic] the Asian community, you are nothing but a mongrel!!“”.
Additionally, Rosenthal’s work has revealed racist social media posts from PSP owner Dominic Morano’s now-deleted Facebook page, including reposting a 2016 video of Black Lives Matter protestors being struck by a car, with the pre-written caption, “Why did BLM and other protestors Cross the Road? to get run over by angry drivers.” When the post resurfaced recently, the official Prince Street Pizza Instagram countered with a meme that said, “You found it offensive? I found it funny, That’s why I’m happier than you.”
On January 7th, Prince Street Pizza posted two screenshots to their Instagram Story of an official statement addressing their racist past. The press release didn’t refer to any specific incidents. In terms of next steps for actionable change, PSP’s letter cited its plans to “[hire] dedicated customer service personnel,” and continue to “donate pies to frontline workers.” The statement was posted in the “press” section of their website here, and, at time of writing, is nowhere to be found on their Instagram grid or website homepage.
Later on Friday afternoon, Prince Street Pizza announced Dominic and Frank Morano would be stepping down. For the foreseeable future, the current manager of Prince Street Pizza will take over operational responsibility of the Nolita pizza shop. Prince Street has since denounced all forms of racism, injustice, inequality, and bigotry.
“There is nothing okay about the comments I made on Yelp,” said Frank Morano in a statement. “I take full responsibility and wholeheartedly apologize to our customers, especially our Asian community. All of our customers are family to us, and you deserve so much better. I am stepping down because it’s the right thing to do.”
In response to his 2016 Facebook shared post, co-owner Dominic Morano said, “Making light of violence is indefensible...I apologize from the bottom of my heart. The horror the world has witnessed in unwarranted and unjust deaths of black men and women killed in recent years has been heartbreaking. And me making light of what is happening was and is wrong.”
In the past, The Infatuation has emphatically endorsed Prince Street Pizza, including their spicy pepperoni slice on guides like the Best Pizza In NYC. As a direct response to this reporting, however, we’ve edited our original review, and removed Prince Street Pizza from our Best-Of lists and other guides.