NY Pizza Pub Italian Grill: New owners keep what’s important

By on April 30, 2019

You may have noticed the new sign and logo at the New York Pizza Pub Italian Grill in Nags Head.

Or perhaps, once inside you spied new TVs that blend seamlessly into the décor.

Best of all, it’s likely you didn’t perceive any major changes in the menu, or the quality of the food served there.

All of which would make the new owners, Andrew and Leslie Mikhail and General Manager Melody Jo “MJ” Williams very happy.

With little fanfare, former owners Joe and Laura Gurski sold the popular restaurant in August 2018.

The new owners added some television screens, decided to operate the restaurant 365 days a year for both lunch and dinner, and step up the night-life offerings during in-season.

We sat down with “MJ” to discuss what’s new — and what is staying the same at the New York Pizza Pub.

“Originally the new owners thought about making it more of a sports bar, but once they experienced the seasonality and the loyal customer base, they decided to keep the basics the same as when the Gurskis owned it. ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ ” was how MJ described their attitude.

But there have been some tweaks already implemented and few more to come as summer approaches.

Regulars will be happy to see a familiar face in Melody Jo “MJ” Williams, who is the general manager and has worked at the “Pub” for four years.

“We have 28 TVs now, so in the shoulder and off-season, this is a great place to catch a football game. We even had a very successful Super Bowl party this past January, where we gave away one flat screen TV every quarter,” MJ noted.

The offseason action also includes Trivia Nights, which MJ said is well-known among the local trivia players.

Lunch has been an in-season option in the past, and typically the ‘Pub’ closed at the end of December.

Now the establishment plans to be open every day, and lunch will join dinner as a year-round option.

The upstairs dining room, which is open only in the summer in prior years, is now open year-round.

They’ve also added delivery service to the Nags Head and lower KDH area, and a first for the Pub — pizza by the slice for lunch. Slices are $2 and a two-slice plus a beer is available for $5.

Lunch runs from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There have been no recipe changes to the pizza or other menu items, including the iconic lasagna and bourbon-teriyaki steak — two crowd pleasers from the past.

The bar has seen some changes, with an emphasis on daily specials for beer and/or cocktails, the addition of top-shelf liquors and more upscale and traditional cocktails ,as well as what MJ refers to as a “Summer Set” of beach-friendly cocktails. The wine list, which was always extensive for a restaurant of this size, also remains as it was.

Sunday Jazz Nights, a NY Pizza Pub tradition, will continue with Elizabeth City artist Wayne James and company continuing as the featured band.

During the summer months, the nightlife will see an expansion to five nights a week. While the music doesn’t start until 10:30 p.m., staff will give diners the option to be seated upstairs starting at 8:30 p.m. if they wish to avoid the changeover crowd.

Late-night menu items will include pizza, calzones and garlic knots until closing time.

If you loved the NY Pizza Pub and Grill before, you’ll feel right at home when you return this season, with more entertainment options and the same good food you’ve come to expect.

And locals will appreciate the year-round operation, including lunch and dinner, as well as more activities to break up those cold, winter days and nights along the Outer Banks.

Too often new owners buy a popular establishment, keep the name but make changes that disappoint loyal patrons. It’s good to know that the changes at NY Pizza Pub are focused on being more accessible while leaving in place the menu, many of the staff, and the number of hours and days one can choose to dine there.

NY Pizza Pub Italian Grill
(252) 441-2660
2217 S. Croatan Hwy.
Nags Head, NC 27959
nypizzapub.com/

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