Kosher Pizzeria “8 Slices” Opens on Audubon Ave.
A new kosher pizzeria called 8 Slices opened Friday, Sept. 13 on Audubon Ave. next door to the 16 Handles that opened last year. The new pizzeria is under the same owner as the frozen yogurt chain, and Shalev Katzav, general manager of the Audubon Ave. 16 Handles store and a veteran of several Israeli restaurants, is managing the pizzeria as well.
8 Slices will serve a simple menu of fresh soup, pizza and salads with reasonable prices, said Katzav, who emphasized his restaurant’s strong customer service, fresh and tasty pizza and overall cleanliness. The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. daily, except for Fridays and Saturdays, when it will close two hours before Shabbat candle lighting and open one hour after Shabbat ends.
The new pizzeria is currently under the supervision of Rabbi Aaron Mehlman of National Kosher Supervision. Katzav explained that the restaurant is in the process of obtaining certification from the Vaad of Riverdale and that it has added additional kosher supervision including two mashgichim temidiim to be in compliance with the strict kashrut standard required for participating in YU’s Dining Card Program. Although it is not currently a participating vendor in YU’s Dining Plan, according to Katzav, the restaurant is in the process of being added. Katzav and YU confirmed that 16 Handles has already been added to the Dining Card as a participating vendor and that OneCard terminals are in the process of being set up in the store.
8 Slices is the third kosher pizza store in a two block radius. Some residents have expressed concern on Facebook that so many pizza stores in the area may be an oversaturation of the market. When a photo of the new establishment was posted on YU Marketplace, a Facebook “buy and sell” group with over 8,000 members that caters to the YU community, Avi Sebbag (SSSB ‘17) commented, “Personally, I don’t think they should be allowed to open. We have two pizza stores already, we don’t need a third. All three of them won’t be able to keep the business they need to keep running and someone will lose out.”
Elazar Krausz (YC ‘20) also expressed some concern after visiting 8 Slices. “With two kosher pizza options in the Heights already, the only thing I could imagine would set them apart is having really amazing pizza, but the slice I tried failed to meet that mark,” commented Krausz. “I think the owners will have to find some unique selling point if they are to survive in an already competitive market.”
Not all students had a negative view of the new restaurant. Ezra Splaver (YC ‘21) found the location convenient and the pizza tasty. “It’s closer to Glueck and the [Mendel Gottesman] library, so students will be more likely to go there,” said Splaver. “The pizza was good — different than Lake Como and Grandma’s, so maybe some students will prefer this new store.”
Other students have expressed interest in trying the new restaurant. Meir Lightman (SSSB ‘22) remarked, “I’m looking forward to trying the new pizza place. It will be great to see more options and variety, and it will be great to add a new high quality eatery to the Heights.”
Katzav was not concerned about his competition. “Everything in New York is for competitive people,” he said. “It doesn't matter what you do, you can’t eliminate them. I’m not here to cry. I’ll let the students decide.”
Avi Hirsch contributed to this story.