A brand new Artichoke Pizza opened today in the East Village, across the street from where its famed and decidedly funkier predecessor was shuttered by a fire last month.
The two-alarm blaze broke out at 5:15 am on Friday, May 26, just as Artichoke was closing. It spread to the second floor of 328 E. 14th Street, but no one was injured. Fire marshals determined it was “an accidental fire which started in the kitchen due to heat from the pizza-oven flue,” according to an FDNY spokesperson.
One of the new joint’s customers today– Tyler Gace, 32– said his girlfriend “saw the fire around 6 a.m” late last month when she was getting ready for work at her nearby apartment. Artichoke’s owners, cousins Francis Garcia and Sal Basile, reportedly leased the new location, at 321 E. 14th Street, months ago. Lenny Perce, a counterman who told us he was at another Artichoke when the blaze broke out, said the new location will retain the same hours as before, closing at 5am.
Earlier in the day, a man who said he was from an insurance company stood amid the rubble of the burned-out pizzeria, founded in 2008. It attracted long lines and a cult following along with numerous complaints from locals about loud and drunken late-night customers.