Flames engulfed a popular pizzeria in Howard Beach on Monday, October 17 — tearing through the entire neighborhood hot spot and leaving nearby residents in shock.
“It’s very sad. I think it’s very tragic, and I hope they’re able to rebuild,” said Maria, a neighbor on 91st Street who did not want to give her last name. “They’re a good part of the community and I know they do a lot of community service as well.”
At 7:47 a.m., firefighters in Battalion 39 responded to the one-alarm fire at Lenny’s Pizzeria on 164-02 Cross Bay Boulevard. Fire officials reported massive damages throughout and to the front of the store.
The building still stands, but the fire shattered all three major display windows and seared signs, wires, furniture and most of the restaurant’s interior. The front windows were boarded up as of Monday night, and debris strewn outside the store from the fire’s destruction was cleaned up.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, fire officials said.
There were no reported injuries.
“I feel really upset because that’s really good pizza,” said Alana Stewart, who lives adjacent to Lenny’s. “It’s upsetting that it’s not there anymore.”
Stewart — a loyal Lenny’s fan who eats there at least three times a week — said she was at school when the fire occurred, but soon heard the news.
“We’re going to have to wait a while for it to come back,” she said.
But the wait won’t be easy for a lot of the restaurant’s regulars.
“It’s a good restaurant. I’m going to miss it,” said another customer Ralph Morea. “We go there all the time. We don’t go to any other pizzeria, and we won’t go anywhere else in the meantime.”