Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Outer Boroughs >
Jan 24, 2011 10:47 AM

New coat of paint and new floors, Dom had to raise prices.

After all, those few hundred dollars he spent on 'renovations' covering the last few decades had to come from somewhere, no?
Actually, not sure when this price hike went into effect but I assume it is with the re-opening, post new paint. I know it was 25/30 for whole pies in the summer, now 28/32. Strangely, one topping pies seem to have remained at 30/35.
Yes, he can charge whatever he likes and a few dollars is just that.
But if 3 doesn't matter, should 5 or 20 or 50?
Also, since the slices are fool's gold, he felt it was alright to keep those stable at 5. Perhaps he realized how idiotic the slice/pie spread was. Then again, I never believed in the slices or round pies there at all, so............


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. those prices were in effect last month when I went. I don't believe I'm saying this, but it was worth it. keep in mind you don't have to tip.

      It makes you feel better if you don't think of it like you're eating pizza.

      1. Seems to me every business occasionally repaints or refurbishes, and yes, those expenses tend to be reflected in the prices.

        And are we confident that Di Fara's rent and other expenses have remained unchanged? If not, we should note that in our comments on the price increases.

        Di Fara Pizza
        1424 Avenue J, Brooklyn, NY 11230

        16 Replies
        1. re: squid kun

          It's not inflation, it's not higher rent, it's not higher food costs. It's Dom's Retirement Plan.

          The man is what - 65, 70? He's old and probably getting tired and he's not going to be able to do this that much longer. The more he charges, the more he can put away for his retirement. People seem to be willing to pay what he charges so he's got no reason to lower his prices.

          I don't go because I'm not willing to put up with the lines. That said, I understand why he's charging those prices.

          1. re: Bob Martinez

            I like this model better than other places that have become found; rather than expand and risk diminishing the quality he simply increases prices.

            Having said that I wont be going back anytime soon, just not worth the hassle and wait.

            1. re: Bob Martinez

              Over the years I have been a pain in the ass rabid supporter of DiFara's. I still think the square is the best pizza in New York (but the round is just ok to average).

              Having said that, I now agree with this sentiment. The lines are an insult to my intelligence and my schedule, and to put up with them has outlived its usefulness. I haven't been there in over 2 years. I do surely miss the square slices, but I am NOT spending a whole afternoon getting there just to stand in that disgusting cramped space next to all sorts of (achem) repegnant citizens jamming their comments in my face. I will eat at Lucali's like a human being.

              575 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

              1. re: NYJewboy

                I gave up about two years ago. My last time was one otherwise slow summer night when we waited over an hour in disgusting heat and filth for slices that can now be gotten at Lucali's in a nice air conditioned spot

                Its a cliche at this point, but as Yogi said "No one goes there any more; it's too crowded"

                575 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

                1. re: NYJewboy

                  I knew you'd eventually see the light... :-)

                  1. re: Tay

                    I know, I know. I just wish it was easy.

                    1. re: NYJewboy

                      Count me in on being out. I've been going to Di Fara's at least twice a month for over 10 years. But I haven't been there more than two or three times in the last year. The scene's worn me down. It's especially not worth it when I go by myself and want just a few slices. What are they now -- $5.00 each? That and the odds that I might get in and out of there in 20 minutes or 90 minutes is more than I can put up with. There used to be down times there when it was likely to be less crowded-- late afternoons before the rush hour commute, at the end of the night when Dom was less rigid about closing on time. But those windows are also gone now. And so am I, for the most part.

                      1. re: pizmet

                        And they don't give a damn. If they are reading this I hope they realize that they are hemorrhaging customers like hurricane Katrina.

                        1. re: NYJewboy

                          "If they are reading this I hope they realize that they are hemorrhaging customers like hurricane Katrina."

                          If they've already got more business than they can handle, why should they care?

                          1. re: Bob Martinez

                            "If they've already got more business than they can handle, why should they care?"

                            They should...It's called customer appreciation. They just don't.

                            1. re: Tay

                              That place is on every list imaginable now. There's no need to cater to longtime customers. People who visit our city to see the Empire State Building will also go to DiFara to see this pizza man and wait on line and experience the spectacle for themselves.

                  2. re: NYJewboy

                    I've been priced out as well. I'm an unemployed recent graduate and since my job description of sorts went from student to that I haven't been there a single time (probably over 6 months now.) It's just too expensive when I could have an easy time of things at Totonno's. I like taking people there to show it to them, but I've also been turned off by having to stand at the counter the entire time while my group sits. I would still go if I was able to get pies in 15 minutes as effectively as I used to, but the current name order system screws long term customers completely. A degree of corruption should be allowed in everything to better favor frequent and long term users over newer ones and it worked brilliantly to that end.

                    1. re: JFores

                      " A degree of corruption should be allowed in everything to better favor frequent and long term users over newer ones and it worked brilliantly to that end."
                      Are you kidding?
                      The "system" AKA: No system at all, just helped to create and reinforce the problem.

                      1. re: Tay

                        What Jfores is elliptically referring to is his long standing practice of cutting the line. Evidently it's more difficult now.

                        1. re: Bob Martinez

                          Ah the days of when many posters would claim how well they knew Dom, or how they would beat the system, or how Dom was a humble artisan who cared not for money, but only to put out a supreme product.

                          1. re: Bob Martinez

                            Yeah, bottom line: if you're a cheater, it's harder now. Try some other place.

                2. Even if the pizza is truly special I really can't allow that much money to be sucked away from me for it. I've been there once, recently, before the renovation, and that's enough. I filed it away under "touristy experiences" as if I had visited a foreign country I'll never get back to again.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Mrs Shoutfire

                    The pizza in this joint is very good. That being said, if one wants to put up with the rudeness that occurs there by some patrons, and the other non appetizing environs, I say go there. I live close by and wouldn't go in unless there was less a five minute wait. The man is closer to 75 than 65, and very shortly, he will role out his last dough........and hopefully spend some of his dough!. He's an institution in the pizza world. I remember him going back to 1966. If he charged $10 a slice, he would still have his devotees. Bottom line, it's your money, do what you want with it.

                      1. re: Tay

                        difara's, albeit great pizza, has simply become our frankenstein monster. the pizza is, of course, dom's creation. but the phenomenon of the wait and the price is the creation of foodies, bloggers, journalists, worshippers, fans, etc. we made him this huge and now we must pay the price.

                        dom's clearly aware that there is a price point somewhere out there that will balance his rate of productivity with a reasonable wait and a not-overcrowded restaurant. so, every so often he jacks up the price a bit more and tests the elasticity of the market, knowing that, even if he sacrifices some long term customers, his sales won't suffer. but it seems that he's still below the price point that will perfectly balance supply and demand. he's just practicing realpolitik economics. while he may have lost some previously loyal customers, the truth is that he hasn't yet lost any business, because he's still selling all the pies he can produce. in fact, he still hasn't exceeded what the market will bear, as evidenced by the fact that there is still an unbelievably long wait despite the high prices, long wait, poor service and bare bones environment.

                        i personally won't pay those prices or wait that long. however, plenty of people still will. makes me wonder what the frankenstein monster of his fame will support in terms of prices before he starts to lose business. perhaps at $7.50/slice and $50/pie the wait will become that of a typical nyc pizzeria. while i think it's completely reasonable to honor the customers who've been with him for ages by keeping the prices down, dom's clearly decided to opt instead for seeking greater profits. but the truth is that he has not yet maximized profits completely. he'll only maximize profits when he's working as fast as possible, moving all his product and yet creating only an imperceptible wait. such a price point exists for this scenario and perhaps dom will continue to try to find it. in the meantime, those who can pay and wait will and those who won't don't.

                        until the day comes when dom is standing around with his place empty of customers and a counter full of unsold pies, he can keep raising prices as he wishes. perhaps, given dom's age, he's just not worried that one day the market will downturn and he'll need to depend on his loyal customers, i.e. the folks who got him here. i never imagined i'd be the guy to make this argument, given that i love great food at a cheap price and am willing to seek it out at the ends of the earth. but this is just how market economies work.

                        1. re: yussdov

                          if the prices were lower, it'd be even more crowded. We'd never get a pie. that'd suck.

                          1. re: Jeffsayyes

                            I agree I think the price is crowd control. I personally love Dom and his pizza but being a native of Bklyn. and the hood. I cannot pay the price or wait an hour for pizza. There are so many good pizza joints in Bklyn. And Dom I will be giving him a break by not eating his Pizza.