Looks like Mr. Grimaldi is nobody’s patsy. A Queens judge has ruled that Patsy Grimaldi, founder of iconic Grimaldi’s Pizza, can open a competing pie joint next door to the flagship DUMBO location he sold to Frank Ciolli in 1998.
In September, Ciolli sued the “coal oven legend,” charging he violated a non-compete clause by coming out of retirement to again pawn pizzas at Juliana’s Pizza, a spanking new restaurant in the same building he used to rent in DUMBO, which, of course, is right next door to Ciolli’s pizzeria.
The New York Daily News reports that Queens County Supreme Court Justice Augustus Agate decided against granting a temporary injunction to block the opening, calling it “healthy competition.” In a mid-December decision, he said: “There’s no proof that (Grimaldi) took any steps to actively solicit any of the plaintiff’s customers.”
Ciolli, who purchased the Grimaldi’s Pizza name for $500,000, vowed to fight on, noting the case is still pending. “We’ll have our day in court,” he said.