NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Some food for thought on the Lower East Side as an online petition calling for the end to dollar slice pizza shops has grown in popularity.
Whether you like them or not, dollar pizza shops are part of the very fabric of the city's fast food scene, CBS 2's Janelle Burrell reported Saturday.
"In this economy, people need cheap food. I buy them sometimes," Lower East Side resident Nina Mende said.
"I see them throughout all of New York City, that's part of New York," Nick Newman told Burrell.
But now, there's a new online petition that claims the pizza shops are taking over the Lower East Side and it's calling for the area's community board to say no to pizzerias and yes to more diverse, reasonably priced food options.
Community Board 3 District Manager Susan Stetzer said the board is all about supporting small businesses. "We very much want to support our mom and pops."
Stetzer said there is a need for more privately owned restaurants, but that the popular pizza shops are not to blame.
"I do not believe that we are losing them because of dollar pizza, we're losing them to upscale competition that can pay higher rents," Stetzer said.
While the pizza shops may be annoying to some, others in the neighborhood see it as a positive for business, Burrell reported.
Recep Aygun, who has worked at a Lower East Side specialty pizza shop for nearly 20 years said before the dollar shops opened, they were overwhelmed by drunk and rowdy crowds late at night.
Now, he said those customers go to the dollar shops, which is fine by him. "After the dollar shops open, we're better - quiet customers."
Local community board leaders said unlike liquor licenses or retail, dollar pizza shops do not come before the board, so they haven't taken a position on the issue.
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