Brooklyn Pizzeria Rips Out Seating, Resolves Loitering

A recent crackdown on public-toilet violations in Brooklyn restaurants prompted this passionate essay from Brooklyn Papers editor Gersh Kuntzman.

30 01romapizza Brooklyn Pizzeria Rips Out Seating, Resolves LoiteringMr. Kuntzman is pissed because a fine levied against his beloved Roma Pizza on Seventh Avenue convinced the proprietor to take immediate action–and eliminate a bunch of seats.

Roma ripped out half of its seats rather than fight a law that requires restaurants with more than 19 seats to “provide toilet facilities for the public”….

Roma now has only 16 seats–and the bathroom remains behind the counter. The result? I still have to ask the counterman to let me go into the kitchen to use the can–and now I can never find a seat at my neighborhood pizzeria!

Despite Mr. Kuntzman’s stated displeasure at having to “eat a slice standing up, like Tony Manero,” Roma’s owner sees a bright side:

“When I had all these seats, people would sit here for hours and order only one slice,” he said. “Now, they have to stand, so they eat and they leave.”

And then they go home and type an angry rant against the Health Department. That ought to make the next inspection go much smoother.

- Chris Shott