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by Marisa Olsen

RIP Big Nick's

While walking by Big Nick's the other day, I was astonished to see the lights turned off and a sign indicating that this Upper West Side establishment had lost its lease. Big Nick's' has been a staple on the corner of 77th and Broadway, serving Upper West Siders and New Yorkers pizza and other indulgent food for over 50 years.

Many of you are probably shocked that I'm writing a post dedicated to the recent closing of a greasy burger joint, but this place was different. Big Nick's was solely responsible for serving as my entree to the world of pizza--one of my favorite foods ever. 

My parents used to take me Big Nick's where I would play under the table while waiting for the pizza to arrive and pick at the dried gum mounds. (I promise I don't do that any more.) We would feast on plain pizza until I eventually matured to mushroom. (I'd like to think that this made up for my dried gum touching.) My mom even remembers that they'd cut the huge slice into smaller pieces so it was easier for me to eat. Big Nick's was a staple at my birthday parties, evenings with babysitters, lunches, and simple dinners out.

Fast forward twenty years, where my husband and I live several blocks from Big Nick's. Occasionally we'd  grab a slice of plain 'za on our way home. The slice was made with a crisp crust, sweet sauce, and mediocre mozzarella. We always swore that we'd never get a greasy burger and sadly we will never have the chance to break our promise because the joint has shuttered due to skyrocketing lease rates. Well, Big Nick's, thanks for the pizza.

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