November 1, 2015 |

The history of the Bar Pie

By Scott Wiener

Home of the Bar Pie

Many claim to have invented the bar pie but only one pizzeria can do so legally. Eddie’s Pizza in New Hyde Park, New York, filed a trademark for the phrase “Home of the Bar Pie” in Federal Court back in 1992. Having recently bought the business, father and son Nick and Joseph DiVittorio thought it wise to protect the terminology that had been used to describe the thin crust pizzas their restaurant has been making since the early 1940s.

The trademark came in handy in 2003 when the DiVittorios learned that a nearby pizzeria called Emilio’s was using the term to refer to their thin crust pizzas. Their cease-and-desist letter was initially met with compliance, but Emilio’s violated the trademark by using the phrase on marketing materials again in 2011. This time, the cease-and-desist letters were ignored and the team at Eddie’s was forced to bring the issue to federal court. The two parties reached a settlement in November 2012, affirming Eddie’s as the only restaurant legally allowed to employ the moniker “bar pie.” Part of the settlement included a letter of apology from Emilio’s owner Emilio Branchinelli, who referred to Eddie’s as a “dump” in a 2012 Daily News article.

Restaurants and bars often use the terms “bar pizza” and “bar-style pizza” to avoid infringing on the trademark. You can make an identical pizza, just don’t call it a “bar pie.”


Notable Bar Pizza Establishments (alphabetical order)


Colony Grill (est. 1935, pizza in 1945) – Stamford, CT
This popular watering hole opened in an Irish neighborhood, but Italian cooks created pizzas small enough to fit on the narrow bar. They were designed to be eaten with one hand so the other could be available to hold a beer. Colony is known for their hot oil topping, which is made with Serrano peppers and pairs beautifully with locally made sausage.

Eddie’s Pizza (est. 1941) – New Hyde Park, NY
This Long Island landmark has been making cracker-thin pizzas since the early 1930s. Their menu boasts that an entire bar pie is just 270 calories – that’s about the same as a single New York slice! Eddie’s owns the trademark on the term “bar pie” and is vigilant about protecting it.

Lynwood Cafe (est. 1949) – Randolph, MA
Legendary among locals, this family owned business has been serving bar pizzas since 1949. They’re known for the Bean Special, a pie topped with Boston baked beans, onion, and chunks of salami.

Margot’s Pizza (est. 2014) – Brooklyn, NY
Slice Pizza Blog founder Adam Kuban’s homage to comfort pizza is currently running as a ticketed pop-up during the off-hours at a popular Brooklyn restaurant called Emily. The pies are an amalgamation of the thin pizzas Kuban grew up eating and those he fell in love with while running Slice.

Star Tavern (est. 1945) – Orange, NJ
New Jerseyans rally behind this family-friendly restaurant, which continuously tops “best of” lists for their thin crust pizzas. Perfectly charred crust and cheese make this a definitive example of the bar pizza genre.