Fewer Immigrants, More Authentic Immigrant-Style Pizza Shops

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Another day, another story of a mustache-twisting chain store baron ruining the charm of (non-hipster) Brooklyn. (Manhattan, according to popular opinion, was long-ago "Disneyified"; Brooklyn is the current battleground.) The New York Times reports that residents of the supposedly gentrifying Sunset Park neighborhood are trying to block the opening of a Papa John's pizza shop—located right next door to Johnny's Pizza, a neighborhood staple since the late 1960s:

There really is a John inside Johnny's Pizza in Sunset Park, Brooklyn—John Miniaci Jr., whose father, John Sr., founded the neighborhood pizzeria in 1968.

There will soon be another John right next door on Fifth Avenue—Papa John's Pizza, a franchise outlet. John Jr. considers this as an insult to his own papa John, who died just one month ago. Of all the spots the franchise could have chosen, why, he asks, did it have to be on the other side of the wall where two centurion busts stand guard above customers waiting for zeppoles or Sicilian slices? "This is a neighborhood that has had businesses in the same family for two and three generations," Mr. Miniaci said. "These big corporations come in and don't see the value of that."

Boo to the corporations! Yeah for the authentic local Italians! But just who are these corporate interlopers, and why are they bent on destroying the Brooklyn of Hollywood's imagination?

Sandeep Singh, a 23-year-old immigrant from India who invested tens of thousands of dollars in the pizza franchise (his second), said he meant no disrespect and that he, too, was a small business owner. He insisted he was not there to run Johnny's out of business.

"Yes, we share a wall, but we are not selling what Johnny sells," said Mr. Singh, who is known as Sunny. "Johnny should not be concerned. It's not a big deal. The people who come to Johnny's now will keep coming to Johnny's." Chris Sternberg, a spokesman for Papa John's, based in Louisville, Ky., said the company approved the franchise after studying local demographics and being assured that Mr. Singh's franchise would be viable. It took Mr. Singh more than a year to find a storefront, which he finally rented from a landlord who owned a pizzeria himself.

Locals intereviewed by the Times don't understand why Singh would pursue the American dream from Sunset Park:

"This is the best pizza in the area," said Roger Ramos, a postal worker who grew up nearby. "Papa John's is just generic. Why are they coming here? Greed? I don't know."

"Me, as a businessman, I think this corporation has no respect, no class," Mr. Coluccio said. "I'm not scared Papa John will have better pizza. It's just the way they're doing it. It's like they came to your house and kicked you right out."

Well, no, it isn't like that at all. Rather than handing out petitions in the neighborhood (Johnny and his supporters have, thus far, gathered 2,200 signatures), customers could just ignore Papa John's, and continue patronizing Johnny's. Just a thought.

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  1. I wonder if in 40 years we will have big corporate Indian food chains?

  2. God, I hope so. There isn’t a decent Indian buffet within 10 miles of my place.

  3. Man, I hope so…sooner if at all possible. It’s tough finding decent korma and madras dishes here in the Midwest.

  4. So, people who try to get others riled up about an issue like this, instead of just ignoring it and letting people go about making up their own minds and voting with their wallets, are jerks?

    OK, Mr. Moynihan. Thanks for bringing this to our attention, and telling us what to think about this pizza shop opening.

  5. I don’t know, my buddies who live in Park Slope are pretty self-consciously anti-corporate (although many of them work for major corporations) – pretty much everything around there is local. If the pizza at Papa John’s sucks or the locals choose not to patronize, it’ll go out of business.

  6. WTF? I love Poppa Johns! That garlic butter dipping sauce, OH MY GOD is that stuff good. It seems Domino’s never caught on with that dipping stuff, but then they are run by a conservative Catholic nutjob, so that may explain the not catching on…
    Yeah, I must ditto the post. Why not just patronize the store you like, and others like it…
    On the other hand (it’s tough being Mr. Nice Guy, but someone’s gotta do it), opening up right next to someone in the same business is a little “hey f*ck you.” But consider that if Johnny’s was the only pizzaria in a small town and Johnny was one of those small business owner pricks with rude service and average product then Papa Johns would be doing everyone a service by kicking him in his ass. To assume the bigger company is always the bad one is a stupid knee jerk reaction…

  7. My pleasure, Joe.

  8. Rather than handing out petitions in the neighborhood (Johnny and his supporters have, thus far, gathered 2,200 signatures), customers could just ignore Papa John’s, and continue patronizing Johnny’s. Just a thought.

    But then they’d have to talk to people who don’t already agree with them, and convince other people who don’t share their assumptions. And that’s hard. You don’t want them to have to do anything hard, do you?

  9. Within five miles of me, theres a pizza hut, a papa johns, and a dominoes. But theres also Vittos’s, 8 1/2 Italian Pizza, and Stuffy’s pizza–all local places. Who says corporate and local can’t co-exist?

  10. I spoke too soon on a false assumption. As any New Critic would tell you, close reading is a must. The petition is not to trigger the coercive arm of the state, but actually one business owner appealing to another not to grant a potential third a franchise. Who would have thunk a bunch of businesses might get together and restrain people’s choices without the evil state involved? And since free business owners exercising their free choices can n’er do wrong in some libertarians eyes, I geuss there is no problem here…

  11. Papa John’s is just another reason to be ashamed of Kentucky. Worst. Chain. Pizza. Ever. Sickly sweet “tomato” sauce and under-cooked grainy dough. Yuck.

    To each his own, but yuck.

  12. the shit pizza joints can live next to the regular joints even in carroll gardens, which has some banging (and not so banging) pizza places.

  13. UCrawford:

    Unless you don’t consider Chicago the “Midwest,” you couldn’t be more wrong.

  14. Unless you don’t consider Chicago the “Midwest,” you couldn’t be more wrong.

    Agreed.

  15. From the article:
    “If we get short on cheese or tomatoes, we go to him or he comes to us,” said Gino Campese, the owner of Scotti’s Pizza. “When it’s time to raise prices, we get together. There’s room for everybody. But not for Papa John’s.”

    Isn’t that collusion?

  16. It’s collusion, but not against the public or consumer.

  17. Papa Johns is utter crap compared to even a bad NYC pizza place. I think Johnny’s pizza should not be worried.

  18. Shades of Mr. Tweek vs. Harbucks in the South Park episode, The Underpants Gnomes.

  19. No, that’s definitely collusion.

  20. i’m so sick of new yorkers. Their insane pride in the fact that they live in a total shithole is impossible for me to comprehend.

  21. So, people who try to get others riled up about an issue like this, instead of just ignoring it and letting people go about making up their own minds and voting with their wallets, are jerks?

    OK, Mr. Moynihan. Thanks for bringing this to our attention, and telling us what to think about this pizza shop opening.

    Sorry joe… we figured that if Americans have the right to financially destroy the lives of an innocent immigrant small-buisness owner on a whim… that Americans would also have the right to comment on it.

    So instead of commenting about it, can we instead have the owner of Johnny’s pizza charged with a hate crime?

    I don’t know, my buddies who live in Park Slope are pretty self-consciously anti-corporate

    And that is the paradox. The people who sweat gentrification the most are the people who are doing the gentrifying. It is like tourists who want to travel someplace “not so touristy”. Or the people rejecting “consumerism” by purchasing certain products.

    I think the Onion sums it up better than I can:
    http://www.theonion.com/content/node/31621

  22. I don’t think UCrawford meant every square mile of the Midwest, I think he meant the vast majority of the Midwest.

    Though, TBH, if you randomly selected a square mile of any region of the country it almost certainly wouldn’t contain an Indian restaurant.

  23. Sticking up for a corporation’s right not to have people talk bad about them is certainly a unique angle. Take that, MSM!

  24. It’s collusion, but not against the public or consumer.

    You’re kidding, right? If there were evidence that oil companies were “getting together to set prices”, you’d be up in arms.

  25. This is nothing compared to the Stuart, FL, business owner who got non-renewed so that the landlord could put in a more hispanic (read: people who don’t speak English) business. It was interesting listening to right-wing-radio skirt around the private property issue to condemn the landlord. Hell, the guy in Brooklyn is probably going to trounce the Papa John’s guy. What crap pizza. The guy in Stuart is basically SOL because he doesn’t speak….Spanish!

  26. crimethink: Congress gets together to set prices and it isn’t collusion. The pizza guys, yeah, that’s collusion, but really no more than any trade organization would do.

  27. People have a right to criticize Papa Johns, and we have a right to criticize those people. And you have a right to criticize us, and then we have a right to criticize you.

    Ain’t the free market of ideas wonderful?

  28. It’s collusion, but not against the public or consumer.

    Actually, them agreeing to raise prices at the same time *IS* collusion against the customer.

    But remember folks, it is OK and “progressive” for buisnesses to engage in illegal anti-competition buisness practices, so long as it makes a bunch of white yuppies feel “non-corporate”, and keeps the foreigners out of the neighborhood!

    Remember, it isn’t like people where using the same arguements and tactics to keep Italians and Jews from opening buisnesses 100 years ago!

  29. Lamar,

    Just because someone has the right to do what they wish with their property does not mean that they have a right not to be criticized for it.

  30. Calling a couple of small, local, non-corporate business owners deciding to raise prices at the same time “collusion” is Orwellian newspeak. Comparing that to big corporations that are raising prices together is intellectually dishonest, plain and simple.

  31. Rex Rhino,

    I didn’t realize that the owner of the highly successful, national chain would have his life destroyed if he didn’t find a storefront to rent in this particular block. Hysterical much?

    I’ve got no problem with anyone commenting on anything. EVEN IF it is a small business owner who is doing the commenting, and he dares to offend a writer at Reason magazine by not liking national chains.

  32. The pizza guys, yeah, that’s collusion, but really no more than any trade organization would do.

    I think they’d rather be referred to as the Legitimate Businessmen’s Social Club.

  33. crimethink,

    You’re right, I somehow missed the part about prices.

    I maintain, however, that lending each other cheese and sauce is not anti-consumer, and I SHALL NOT BE MOVED!

  34. The League of Extraordinary Businessmen?

  35. “Just because someone has the right to do what they wish with their property does not mean that they have a right not to be criticized for it.”

    Did I say anything contrary? No. But when you’re talking about political pundits, i.e., people who have to keep a relatively consistent line, it’s interesting to listen to them navigate seemingly (though not actually) inconsistent lines. Lighten up!

  36. OK, everybody has a right to criticize what they want, and even criticize those who criticize. All hail amendment numero uno, which even gives me the right to type sentences in Spanglish.

    This freaking out over a chain moving into the area strikes me as completely predictable and normal, the sort of thing that will soon sort itself out.

  37. But remember folks, it is OK and “progressive” for buisnesses to engage in illegal anti-competition buisness practices, so long as it makes a bunch of white yuppies feel “non-corporate”, and keeps the foreigners out of the neighborhood!

    Good thing you aren’t reading self-serving motives that don’t exist into other people’s statements.

    Remember, it isn’t like people where using the same arguements and tactics to keep Italians and Jews from opening buisnesses 100 years ago!

    No, it’s not, because there is no racial element to this, and those Italians and Jews weren’t national chains that had no personal relationship to the residents of the neighborhood they were serving.

    You can’t play a competant race card to save your life, can you?

  38. The thing is, if you grew up with franchise chain pizzas, that’s what taste’s “normal” to you. I live in a town know for pizzas with only a few chains, and I still get Dominoes half the time just because it tastes right to me.

  39. Oh, yeah, that determination by Yuppies in Brooklyn to keep out foreigners.

    Such insightful understanding our your subject!

    Some people can’t get through the day without the warm feeling of having called someone else a racist.

  40. I live in a town know for pizzas with only a few chains, and I still get Dominoes half the time just because it tastes right to me.

    So true. My wife grew up in a rural area of PA and she thinks Dominoes is just great and think Papa John’s is the BEST EVER. I grew up in the Chicago Metro area and I wouldn’t feed it to my dog. Needless to say we don’t order pizza very much.

  41. It would be interesting to see how well Papa Johns did in this neighborhood. Despite protestations to the contrary, I am assuming Johnny local pizza man is scared shitless that Papa Johns will crush him.

    There are already several Papa Johns in New York (as well as a number of Dominos locations), so Mr. Singh may well have a chance. Even though it is a cliche that independent New York pizza is the best, it seems there are enough people in New York that don’t believe the cliche for national chains to compete.

  42. Do we have the same problem if Pizza Hut opens instead? Will Johnny’s complain that it’s like that took the name of my house now I can’t go home anymore. Come on if people really don’t know Papa John’s is different than the dead proprietor of Johnny’s pizza they need to walk in front of the bus and increase our average IQ.

  43. The Papa John’s guy is right. They both sell pizza, but they don’t sell the same kind of pizza. In my hometown, there is the local Shakespeare’s pizza (and it is quite good pizza) right across from a Domino’s. Shakespeare’s dominates catering to the local university, is jam packed on weekends, and even sells frozen pizzas to Wal-Mart and other local grocery stores. Johnny’s Pizza or w/e it was called will do quite well for itself, and Papa John’s will do well delivering pizza to people who don’t feel like going to a sit-down pizza place.

    Sort of like a McDonald’s opening up next to a steakhouse. They both sell hamburgers, but they ain’t really the same kind of hamburgers.

  44. I read the article and thought – clever guy, he managed to get free advertising on the front page of the New York Times…

  45. So, people who try to get others riled up about an issue like this, instead of just ignoring it and letting people go about making up their own minds and voting with their wallets, are jerks?

    Well, yes, they are jerks.

    I didn’t realize that the owner of the highly successful, national chain would have his life destroyed if he didn’t find a storefront to rent in this particular block.

    Did you miss the part about it taking Mr. Singh more than a year to find a storefront? joe, has it occurred to you that Mr. Singh has a limited amount of cash to burn through before the opening of his business provides him with income?

  46. Mike Laursen,

    I trust your heart bleeds equally for every would-be businessowner who can’t find the space he wants to rent.

    And not just those you are told to feel sorry for.

  47. “But remember folks, it is OK and ‘progressive’ for businesses to engage in illegal anti-competition buisness practices, so long as it makes a bunch of white yuppies feel ‘non-corporate’, and keeps the foreigners out of the neighborhood!”

    Gino Campese would probably dump in his pants if he knew somebody called him a progressive. RC Dean, do you use a ouija board, or just make stuff up out of the blue?

  48. All chain pizza is an abomination. I was fortunate to grow up in New England where there are mom & pop pizza/grinder* shops in every town. Some were better than others, but they were all better than chains.

    “Grinder”; def: Sub, Hero, Po-boy, etc.

  49. “joe, has it occurred to you that Mr. Singh has a limited amount of cash to burn through before the opening of his [second] business provides him with income?”

    Not sure it matters, but you should at least get it straight.

  50. I think the real shame is that so many people have forgotten that a free market is supposed to have competition. Whether or not the pizza places rises or falls is a decision that should be made by thousands of consumers making a free and independent decisions where to buy and eat pizzas. The real problem (and it will come) is that businesses coopt government in the name of some Higher Purpose and use regulatory powers to stifle competition. See the liquor laws in most states, or the taxi medallion laws in many big cities, etc.

  51. I maintain, however, that lending each other cheese and sauce is not anti-consumer
    Blessed are the cheese lenders. That’s what Jesus said, right?

  52. It’s rather simple logic. The small time restaurant gets supplies by local or small time suppliers because he can’t afford mega-shipments. Then the franchise grows, and the mega-shipments can save a lot of money. The mega-shipments are lower in quality than the locally supplied or small time gruel.

    It’s the same when things go from being hand-made to mass produced. Hopefully there is a corporate ‘sweet-spot’ where the prices are awesome, availability prime and quality still reminiscent of how it was when things were done to order.

  53. I miss Shakey’s, but more for the atmosphere and old time music than for the pizza.

    And the beer was ice cold to combat the 3rd degree burns on your pallet from molten cheese.

  54. Blessed are the cheese lenders. That’s what Jesus said, right?

    It’s not meant to be taken literally. It refers to any manufacturer of dairy products…

  55. So, people who try to get others riled up about an issue like this, instead of just ignoring it and letting people go about making up their own minds and voting with their wallets, are jerks?

    Thanks, joe, for pointing out that a bunch of whiny statists have never used government to shut down a business (or prevent it from ever opening) because they couldn’t shut it down by not buying from them. Never happens.

  56. All chain pizza is an abomination. I was fortunate to grow up in New England where there are mom & pop pizza/grinder* shops in every town. Some were better than others, but they were all better than chains.

    I grew up in New England as well, and when you really get back into the rural areas, the general rule you claim (which is true) starts to weaken. The pizza at some of the local shops here is so bad that it can cause instant nausea. One place dumps cold, cubed ham and vegetables onto the pizza after the pizza is cooked. When you pick up a slice all the toppings literally roll off onto the floor.

    I like Papa Gino’s.

  57. So why hasn’t Paulie or another friend of ours paid a friendly visit to Mr. Singh and pointed out to him how annoying it can be to have someone throw a brick into your front window or even how easily an accidental fire could happen, you know.

  58. I’d like to know more about what the petition says.

    If the petition is a pledge not to go to Papa John’s, then I support the action, and can agree with Joe that this is just “getting people riled up”.

    If the petition is some kind of demand that city government somehow contrive to not let Papa John’s open, then these people are douchebags and Moynihan is entirely right to call them on it.

  59. I trust your heart bleeds equally for every would-be businessowner who can’t find the space he wants to rent.

    Yeah, it does. I admire a person who takes on the risk of opening a new business.

    And, Lamar, I don’t see why it matters much whether Singh is opening his first or second pizza shop. I assume the guy has limited cash flow, loans to repay, may even be risking the health and happiness of his family to get the addition to his business going.

  60. “Hopefully there is a corporate ‘sweet-spot’ where the prices are awesome, availability prime and quality still reminiscent of how it was when things were done to order.”

    Market, meet Lamar. Lamar, meet market.

    What really happens is that businesses, if left unencumbered, provide hand-crafted, fair trade, animal-cruelty free artisan pizzas AND carboard disks covered in catsup and artificial cheese product and all sorts of variations between. The more free and open the marketplace, the better chance you or I have to find the pizza that suits our respective fancies.

  61. OK, I’ve read the linked article through and the petition is a petition to the Papa John’s headquarters. I can’t really argue against that. Especially since Papa John’s Corporate will, you know, ignore it.

  62. Jose Ortega y Gasset meet Chinese workers getting beat the hell down for not making enough shit-widgets for Nike, Chinese workers getting beat the hell down for not making enough shit-widgets for Nike meet Jose Ortega y Gasset.

  63. “And, Lamar, I don’t see why it matters much whether Singh is opening his first or second pizza shop.”

    Means, by definition, he has more capital and assets.

  64. Could we at least pretend to read each other’s posts before posting what we’re going to post anyway?

  65. /sarcasm on

    If only the Chinese could learn from the wonderful, caring, beneficent examples of labor practices during the Industrial Revolution.

    /sarcasm off

    Slave labor, I oppose. Some poor bastard work working in a factory because the job, money and conditions are better than grubbing out a subsistence existence on a plot of tired land, I support.

  66. Means, by definition, he has more capital and assets.

    And more expenses and debts. That he already owns a pizzeria tells us nothing about his overall cash flow.

  67. That he already owns a pizzeria tells us nothing about his overall cash flow.

    I think it does. Most small businesses that don’t have a positive cash flow don’t expand and have a hard time getting capitol for new locations.

  68. Jose Ortega y Gossett: So if the market demands slave labor, give it to ’em. Is that what you meant by “Market meet Lamar”?

    Hell, I wasn’t even talking about slave labor. That was just a poor example on my part. Let’s stick to my original example, which you apparently didn’t read. Use your scroll button.

    Mike Laursen: “And more expenses and debts. That he already owns a pizzeria tells us nothing about his overall cash flow.”

    Before it said nothing, now it says nothing about his cash flow. He wouldn’t get new loans if he didn’t have the cash flow. So what does it mean now? Hell, I didn’t think it really meant anything, but the more you try to make the case, the more I become convinced otherwise.

  69. I grew up in the Chicago Metro area […] Needless to say we don’t order pizza very much.

    The words – they look like English but they make no sense!

  70. Jose Ortega y Gossett: I guess you agree with me that, at some point, a corporation gets to big and loses sight of what it originally stood for. Yes?

  71. All chain pizza is an abomination. I was fortunate to grow up in New England

    LOL!

    When will people learn that pizza crust is not supposed to be chewy?

  72. Saying “big corporation” is like saying “white men” or any other category so overly broad as to be utterly unhelpful.

    Some companies grow because they follow a consistent business model and operating philosophy. Jiffy Lube was not once a corner filling station where skilled craftsman replaced your dirty crankcase oil with handcrafted lubrication made from a family recipe. It’s freakin’ Jiffy Lube. McDonald’s has always served McFood. Yes, sometimes a business that depends on a particular product or service loses sight of what made it successsful… and the market punishes the business for this (unless government intervenes). Sometimes businesses evolve and offer a different product or service… or just grow to take advantage of the economies of scale. Not every small business is good (trust me) and not every big business is bad (no matter what your friends say). And by the way, it’s Gasset. Lou Gosset is distant relative.

  73. “When will people learn that pizza crust is not supposed to be chewy?”

    I like it crun-chew-eesy.

  74. I just want to point out – in the chain v. local pizza joint feud – that pizza is disgusting no matter who it comes from. Thanks.

  75. “… and the market punishes the business for this (unless government intervenes).”

    Roomstogo.com is wildly successful, yet you read the reviews and it gets panned time after time. Apparently, they are incapable of sending a customer the correct sofa. Yet the market doesn’t punish it. Why? Their prices aren’t anything special, shipping isn’t cheap and they have one of the most onerous shipping schedules in the biz. Their furniture is rather generic, unless you count Cindy Crawford’s god-awful denim jeans couch. I think perhaps our tastes have shifted to the crap Roomstogo.com sells rather than the market punishing their sloppy business.

    Anyhow, I doubt that the first McDonald’s in San Bernardino, CA served McFood. I think that was Ray Kroc’s invention, and serves my point.

  76. Um, it’s bad to be successful like Ray Kroc?

    (From Oak Park, IL – Woo hoo! Hometown hero!Yee-ha!)

  77. There’s nothing wrong with Ray Kroc, the guy was a hell of a businessman. Made a shitty, shitty hamburger.

  78. I don’t think they compare well to really good hamburgers, but McDonald’s isn’t terrible food. Their fries aren’t the best, but they are better than most, even better than some places that fresh cut them. Their salads are really good. I don’t like most salads, but I have ordered theirs more than once.

    Why does everybody always got to hate on the McDonalds?

  79. “Why does everybody always got to hate on the McDonalds?”

    I’m pretty sure it’s the McGurgles ? hour later.

  80. I grew up in the Chicago Metro area […] Needless to say we don’t order pizza very much.

    The words – they look like English but they make no sense!

    highnumber….

    Maybe I should have said “we don’t order pizza together very much”

    I eat good pizza on my own and avoid eating the crap she calls pizza.

  81. I don’t think they compare well to really good hamburgers, but McDonald’s isn’t terrible food

    About a year ago, I read and article Crain’s Chicago Business about the lack of a good selection of hamburgers in Chicago. The article was basically saying that because of the saturation of McD’s and BK in the marketplace, many other large chains (Carl’s Jr, In and Out Burger, etc) avoid the Chicago area because they don’t really want to compete with the established burger places — instead choosing to expand to areas where they don’t have to compete with the King and the Clown.

    Granted, there are some restaurants that serve really good burgers (I like Blackie’s myself) but basically I would have to agree that the options for fast-food type burgers are rather limited (not counting stand alone hot-dog/hamburger stands).

    So I guess if you agree with the premise of the article, it would be fair to place some blame on McD’s for preventing me from getting a good (better?) burger via a drive thru 🙂

  82. ChicagoTom (if that is your real name),

    I think I read the same story, but I recall them attributing our lack of the good hamburger chains to our abundance of independent hot dog & beef stands. Post WWII, when Carl’s Jr, Big Boy, etc. moved across the country mostly from California, Chicagoans were eating dogs, polishes, and beefs instead.
    To this day, in Chicago, we have more independent fast food joints than all the McD’s, Wendy’s, BK, KFC, etc. all put together. Anyway, those burger joints have been pushing in for a few years now. There’s lots of Culver’s in the suburbs. Those are good burgers. Hell, Portillo’s makes a very good burger, but who can pass up a beef with?

  83. Ray Kroc was in the real estate business, selling hamburgers was just the way to collect rent.

  84. but I recall them attributing our lack of the good hamburger chains to our abundance of independent hot dog & beef stands.

    I didn’t read that article, but that is exactly what I though when I read Tom’s post. There are so many hot dog and beef joints around, all of which serve burgers that are better than Carl’s or Hardees or In-n-Out. Heck, Culver’s and Portillo’s seem to be be doing great as local chains and Steak ‘n’ Shake is doing OK. And I’d never step foot in a Carls or Hardees if Culver’s or Portillo’s were an option. Seems like Culver’s and Portillo’s are causing the occasional Burger King and Wendy’s to close up in the Chicago area.

    Same could be said for tacos in Chicago. Why settle for a cruddy Del Taco or Naugles when there are so many outstanding burrito stands around. That’s why the Taco Bells around here are usually paired up with another Yum brand.

  85. In grad school I had this prof who one day in his usual “corporations are evil” rant went on and on about the “McDonaldization” of the world, how they’ve given us fast food pharmacies and travel packages (as if they were in styrofoam, hey, he really talked like that). Then all the liberal kiss-ups in class went around the room saying that Micke-dees was horrible and how could anyone eat there. When it got to me I showed them that (purely by coincidence) the McDonalds bag of 1/4 pounders I had just bought for lunch. These yuppies are the friends of the working class? Not likely.
    (BTW-I was the only one who got an A in the course, so my less than charitable view of the class is not sour grapes)

  86. If these dumbasses don’t like Papa John’s they don’t have to eat it. It is as simple as that.

    “Papa John’s is just another reason to be ashamed of Kentucky”

    Yeah, ok, whatever. Never mind the fact that Papa John’s and its founder are originally from Indiana. The above quote is the most retarded I think I have ever read on this site. Given the fact there are a ton of Ron Paul maniacs on this site, that is saying a lot. I guess whenever you smoke a Marlboro and it tastes like shit, you curse New York because the corporate headquarters are there? What a total dumbass

  87. Hell, I didn’t think it really meant anything

    So, you were just “correcting” my sentence with the fact that it’s his second pizzeria just to be pedantic. You didn’t have a point.

  88. The best pizza is DiGiordano’s Spicy Chicken. Hella good. Try it you will not be disappointed.

  89. “So, you were just ‘correcting’ my sentence with the fact that it’s his second pizzeria just to be pedantic.”

    Actually, yes. I hang my head in shame. However, it does put the guy out of the “struggling to feed his family” level and puts him in the “struggling to feed his family decently” level. I don’t think it makes much of a difference in the grand scheme of franchise ownership. He still has to risk losing quite a bit. I just like to be a pedantic literalist prick, except when I’m making a point, then I expect people to miraculously understand everything I’m getting at. You too, pal. 🙂

  90. You didn’t quote the best part of the article:

    Some of Johnny’s competitors who signed the anti-Papa John’s petition are not taking the news any better. For years they worked in friendly rivalry, helping each other through tight spots.

    “If we get short on cheese or tomatoes, we go to him or he comes to us,” said Gino Campese, the owner of Scotti’s Pizza. “When it’s time to raise prices, we get together. There’s room for everybody. But not for Papa John’s.”

    Corporations Boo!
    Price Collusion Yay!

  91. If you can’t out-compete a Papa John’s in Brooklyn, it might be time to let it go.

  92. Johnny Pizza is the best..Johnny;s has nothing to worry about!!Papa John has to go…I support all Mom & Pop Shops.

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