An NYC slice shop that draws long lines for its Neapolitan pizzas and Sicilian square pies is expanding to San Diego where its first location is landing in the Gaslamp. Founded in 2012 in the Manhattan neighborhood of Nolita, Prince Street Pizza is planning to open downtown in the former Mariscos El Pulpo space on Market Street early this year.
With several other branches in the Los Angeles area and one outpost in Miami, the pizzeria is best known for its Sicilian pizzas, also known as “Soho Squares,” like the best-selling Spicy Spring with fra diavolo sauce and spicy pepperoni and the Vegan Square topped with vegan cheese, marinara, and fresh basil. It also bakes up round Neapolitan pies including the Boozy Broome made with vodka sauce, prosciutto, and fresh mozzarella, and the Oakey Smokey, which features its original pizza sauce and smoked mozzarella.
Though its pizza remains popular, its off-menu antics have attracted considerable scrutiny in recent years. In late 2020, food blogger Joe Rosenthal called out the problematic behavior of its ownership team, resurfacing racist comments made on Yelp by Prince Street founder Frank Morano that included slurs historically used against Asians as well as a now-deleted Facebook post from Morano’s son Dominic that mocked Black Lives Matter protestors.
Eater NY reported on the controversy and the subsequent backlash, which resulted in the Morano's releasing a public apology; in January 2021, the father and son stepped away from the operations side of the business, although they still own the company.