99 Cent and $1 Slice Pizza in Manhattan
About three or four years ago, a pizza stand opened a block away from the Port Authorty Bus Terminal that started selling pizza slices for 99 cents. There was no seating and at one time they charged sales tax on the slice. It wasn't and still isn't great. But it was better than some snack bar or company cafeteria pizza, and is probably slightly better than some of the industrial chain pizza. Because of the low price, there is a steady stream of customers and you usually get a slice that was just baked, rather than reheated.
The other day, I saw one is going to open on East 34th Street, just east of Third Avenue. This caused me to reflect on the openings of what must be a dozen clones of that first stand on Ninth avenue and 42st Street. With the price of a normal Manhattan slice (which always follows the price of the NYC subway fare) now running $2.25 to 2.50, it is not hard to see these stands will get plenty of business. The proliferation of these places is the first new food business concept I have seen since frozen yogurt places started opening up all over town.
The first dollar slice joint I tried, 2 Brothers Pizza Plus on Sixth Avenue and 18th Street is a block away from a TJ Maxx. The thin crust was closer to Ray's than to Domino's. The sauce tasted like out-of-the-can Restuarant Depot pizza sauce, and the cheese was better than what you get on a Jeno's or Totino's frozen pizza. The clerk told me they make the dough fresh from scratch. This particular place does have seating, but the store interior looks like it was built by friends of the owner who have no construction experience.
As I was finishing my slice, the cashier who served me at the TJ Maxx sat down next to me with her slice and beverage. So, all kinds of people looking for a cheep meal eat here.
The New York Times ran an article about these places last month: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/16/nyregion/16pizza.html?ref=nyregion