MANHATTAN – When it opened just over four years ago, Pizza Quadrata Romana, better known as PQR, was hyped as serving a unique kind of slice that could turn the Upper East Side into a pizza destination. While the slices lived up to the hype, the end of the road has come for PQR— which has closed permanently to make way for a new restaurant named Polletto.
In mid-June, handwritten signs went up on the windows at PQR’s storefront located at 1631 Second Avenue, near the corner of East 85th street, alerting customers that there had been “unfortunate oven malfunction” and to bear with them— but many suspected the ‘temporary closure’ was the end of the road for the pizzeria.
Before it shut down, Pizza Quadrata Romana wasn’t your typical neighborhood slice shop, and it wasn’t trying to be. PQR delivered a different pizza experience focusing on a dough unlike anything you’ve tried before— using cold fermentation to create a flaky, airy, cloud-like crust.
Less than three weeks after the handwritten signs went up, the windows were covered in paper so no one could see inside, a work permit was posted on the glass and PQR’s phone number was disconnected.
Pizza Quadrata Romana’s unique Roman-style pizza will surely be missed— the fancy slices were noted by Upper East Site as some of the best in the neighborhood.
Fast forward to August and PQR’s sign is gone— now one for Polletto, which translates from Italian to ‘little chicken,’ hangs in its place on the refreshed Second Avenue storefront, whose windows are still covered in paper and the old ‘oven malfunction’ notes.
A source familiar with the changeover tells Upper East Site that Polletto, with its refreshed interior, are part of a new concept being rolled out by PQR’s owner, Fabio Casella– who also owns the San Matteo restaurants.
As for what to expect from the new establishment with the big chicken on the sign out front– they’ll be serving up tasty rotisserie chicken and sangria.
Unfortunately, right now the only timeline being given for the new restaurant’s opening is a vague ‘coming soon’ announcement. Neither Mr. Casella and Polletto staff could not be reached by Upper East Site for comment by time of publication.