Saturday, July 20, 2024

Legendary NYC Pizza Palace Gets Unexpected Huge Plug in “A Quiet Place: Day One” (Exclusive)


No one is more surprised to hear about all the Patsy’s Pizza plugs in “A Quiet Place: Day One” than its owner.

I spoke to Adem Brija this evening. Briga– whose dad, Frank, bought Patsy’s in 1990, is in Florida this week. Last night his sister called him after attending the premiere of “A Quiet Place” at AMC Lincoln Square. She couldn’t believe how much Patsy’s from Harlem, a hallowed haven for pizza, was used as a plot point.

In the movie, Lupita Nyongo’s Sam only wants to have her New York pizza before returning to her hospice. The place she wants to go? Patsy’s in Harlem.

Considering that aliens are dropping from the sky, people are being wiped off the face of the Earth, cars are turning over, and buildings are toppling, Sam is motivated. Also she’s in Chinatown, so getting to Harlem isn’t easy. But she wants that damn mouth watering pizza.

Watching the film, I figured Paramount and the production had made a pretty extensive deal with Patsy’s. Brija, however, says no. He had little idea what was going on. He said, “People asked me if I got a lot of money. We didn’t get anything! I said it’s the best PR ever.”

In the film, the Patsy’s storefront is prominently displayed while its block on First Avenue (at East 117th St.) is reproduced down to the trash cans.

He said: “The production came up here with trucks and took a bunch of pictures. There were for one day. And that was it.”

Brija didn’t have much contact with the filmmakers. He told me he just wanted to make sure Patsy’s was shown in a positive light. Otherwise, he’s as shocked as his sister to learn how much the fabled eatery is featured in what will be the number 1 movie of the weekend.

Adem told me that the pizza we ate last night, served at Lincoln Ristorante, was brought downtown from his place. “They called and order several pizzas,” he said. That explained why they were so delicious, I told him.

What will Brija do when the masses descend on Harlem? (He also has more than a odzen other outposts around town. But not the other famous Patsy’s Italian restaurant on 8th Avenue and 56th St. Different Patsy.)

“Frankly, right now we’re working on a fundraiser next week for Governor Hochul’s campaign. That’s what we’re focused on.”

That solves one “A Quiet Place” mystery. The other is why Angie Kim’s novel, Happiness Falls, gets the biggest book plug in history. The book’s spine is displayed prominently during one scene. Why? If you know, email me at

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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