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Original Ray's Pizza Closing Down Over Dispute With Landlord

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The original Ray's Pizza closed its doors Sunday and plans to auction its equipment this week.

The Prince Street pizza institution closed once the final slice was served this weekend.

After more than 50 years in business, the popular pizza site will close up shop following a legal dispute with its landlord. The building owner claims that Ray's is "holding out" on back rent.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS' Sonia Rincon reports


Original Ray's Pizza
Original Ray's Pizza (credit: Sonia Rincon / 1010 WINS)

Loyal customers snatched up $1.50 slices at Ray's Sunday. High school sweethearts Michael and Roseanne found each other again at Ray's and have been together ever since. They came out for a final Ray's meal.

"It's a neighborhood institution, establishment, and the food is great," Michael told Sonia Rincon.

"The staff at Ray's will be missed, the food, the prices - to me it's a landmark. Our hearts are crying," Roseanne said.

Manager Helen Mistretta calls the restaurant's demise the end of an era.

"Ray used to say 'If you don't love what you do, you shouldn't do it.' I actually love what I do," said pizza chef Jose Vargas.

Mistretta hopes to reopen the restaurant somewhere in the same neighborhood, provided she can find an affordable space.

What did you think of the original Ray's? Sound off in our comments section below...

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