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New York-based chain Joe’s Pizza welcomed customers on Sept. 15, bringing the iconic taste of its NYC-style pizza to Harvard Square.
Located on 3 Brattle St., the storefront is the first Joe’s location in Massachusetts. The new location joins the wide variety of options for pizza in Harvard Square, including Pinocchio’s Pizza & Subs and Otto.
Joe’s Pizza opened its first location in 1975 in Greenwich Village and has now expanded to Cambridge, as well as other parts of New York City, Miami, and Ann Arbor, Michigan. Previously, Milk Bar occupied the space where it currently operates.
Joe Pozzuoli, president and majority owner of Joe’s Pizza, said Massachusetts is “a new market” for the chain.
“It is a convenient location for us because it’s close enough to New York where it’s easy to get to,” he said.
Students have welcomed the new location with enthusiasm. Lillian Sun ’26 discussed the “unique flavors” offered at Joe’s, highlighting the “Fresh Mozzarella” option.
“I don’t really see that anywhere else. I see more like traditional pepperoni pizza or cheese pizza,” Sun said. “I think it felt less oily which is always good. It felt more healthy, and it felt more fresh.”
Sasha G. Scolnik-Brower ’17 knew of the New York location and wanted to check out the new Cambridge location for himself.
“I’m not a connoisseur, but I thought it was great,” Scolnik-Brower said. “It’s nice to have one right in town.”
“We couldn’t be more happy with the enthusiasm and support received,” Pozzuoli said.
Joe’s has not yet set its official hours, but Pozzuoli hopes to continue serving until 3 a.m. on weekends.
“We’re trying to go as late as we can,” Pozzuoli said.
At Joe’s, customers can order whole pizza pies, salads, and single slices — with the latter beginning at $4 per slice. The pizza options include cheese, Sicilian, supreme, caprese, and more.
Joyce Q. Lu ’26, who visited the restaurant on opening day, said the pizza “definitely tasted like it was from New York.”
“I didn’t think it was anything amazing, but if you like thin-crusted pizza and you like New York pizza, then I would definitely recommend,” she said.
“I think it’s a little overpriced, but then again, everything in the Square is kind of overpriced,” Lu added.
The store features a plethora of pictures of celebrities who have visited the chain, including Kim Kardashian, Dua Lipa, and Conan O’Brien.
“They make it all old time-y with all the photos,” Scolnik-Brower said, speaking to the atmosphere of the store. “It feels sweet.”
Annie Steffen, a local resident, and Liv Hurley visited the store together.
“I hope they start building a Boston wall of all the Boston people that come,” said Steffen. “We were just talking about all the celebrities on the wall, pointing them out.”
“It’s a fun like find-it game,” added Hurley, who is visiting Steffen.
When Joe’s Pizza first started to expand, the owner, Joe Pozzuoli Sr., resisted.
“He wanted to keep the product — the business — pure, so to speak, without diluting ourselves by expanding,” Joe Pozzuoli Jr. said of his father.
However, they could not ignore the overwhelming demand for Joe’s products.
“We felt that there’s demand for this pizza for sure,” Pozzuoli said. “It just seemed to make sense.”
“Our product is an old school product. We’re not reinventing the wheel,” Pozzuoli added. “But we feel we do it right.”
—Staff writer Caroline K. Hsu can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @CarolineHsu_.
—Staff writer Sidney K. Lee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @sidneyklee.
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