A real “pizza” piece of history is now up for sale.
Downtown Manhattan’s Crocodile Lounge – a bar known for serving free six-slice personal pizzas with the purchase of a drink (though the chefs who made those pizzas openly asked for tips by shaking a jar in patrons’ faces) — was one of the iconic downtown businesses that couldn’t weather the 2020 COVID-19 shutdown.
The Post has learned that it closed its doors that year after more than 10 years in business – and now, the building the no-frills bar operates out of is being listed for $5.5 million.
Located at 325 E. 14th St. in the East Village, the mixed-use property features four free-market apartments and one retail space. The entire retail footprint including the basement will be delivered empty.
“The Mets will be here as well — I mean there’s a lot of history in this building,” said Adelaide Polcinelli, vice chair of Compass, who holds the listing with Susan Wiers.
Apartments are comprised of full-floor, two-bedroom rental units. StreetEasy now shows an apartment – a “large” one-bedroom Asking $4,500 per month,
The property also benefits from the availability of air rights for future development or to increase the number of residential units inside.
A woman named Marie Perugini owns the building. He inherited it from his grandfather, who bought it in 1932.
“She grew up here when her father ran Il Faro Italiano, a very popular restaurant in his time,” said Polcinelli. “As a child, she fondly remembers her many patrons, including [the novelist] Fanny Hurst, who taught him mathematics.
During the time the restaurant was operating, it was simultaneously used as a banquet venue – frequented by the likes of Mayor Ed Koch, Andy Warhol and Woody Allen.
The building dates back to 1910 and was used as a private family home for James McCreery – one of the city’s wealthiest businessmen.
Later, it was converted and operated as a “theatrical boarding house” for four decades. Boarders included actors, actresses, writers, opera singers and vaudeville acrobats who were famous in their time when 14th Street was Manhattan’s theater district. Other famous residents were the outlaw Sundance Kid and his wife Etta Place.
“An enormous character filled with spaces, the homes echo history, romance and former intrigue,” owner Perugini said in a statement. “Perhaps you can feel the presence of those who are not completely gone. The purchase of this unique property is the foundation for a vibrant and bright future.
The Alligator Lounge was a beacon for students and recent college grads who wanted to have fun, and eat some dinner on a low budget – although this is not to be confused with the Alligator Lounge in Brooklyn, which included the purchase of drinks. Also had free pizza. ,
This bar was named after the small spot, which was described as a place where crocodiles used to frolic for their narrowness.
Polcinelli says she’s hoping the new owner will bring a similar vibe — and hopefully that means more free pizza to come.
Meanwhile, Noam Dworman, owner of Comedy Cellar, recently struck a bargain when he Bought 50 year old McDonald’s building for $7.3 million—which would normally be the equivalent of at least $20 million today.
“This is the lowest point in the 10-year real estate cycle. So it’s a really opportune time for someone who is an entrepreneur or business owner to buy a building instead of leasing space,” Polcinelli he said.