175 Orchard St
New York, NY

Why Una Pizza Napoletana Will Never Expand

Mangieri started making pizza at 15. Today, at 52, he still makes every ball of dough at his pizzeria on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Una Pizza Napoletana. The sidewalk out front is too hectic for the little chair of his dreams, but “I’m here, and we’re like an oasis when you come inside,” he says. Some nights at the host station, you’re charmed by Apollonia, his 12-year-old daughter (if she’s not busy doing homework at a table), before being led to your seat through the boisterous dining room. The walls are decorated with family photos and art made by friends. Mangieri makes pizza from an open kitchen, pausing occasionally to scan his domain while a wood fire burns in a glowing tile oven behind him.

This picture is the image he wants to preserve. He thinks it would fade if copied. That is why, in roughly 30 years of business, he’s only ever operated one restaurant, despite a bicoastal move from New York City to San Francisco and back again, and offers from outsiders to expand Una Pizza nationwide.

“I see a lot of chefs quickly go from getting their own place and getting accolades to, within six months, gathering a bunch of investors or getting taken under the wing of a group and opening like four places,” Mangieri says. “It just doesn’t speak to me.”

Mangieri recently sat down with Eater to discuss how and why Una has remained a one-location restaurant after all these years.

Read Eater’s interview with Anthony.

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