New Pizza Restaurant Opens At 50th St. Subway Stop, Hopes To Draw Times Sq. Crowd

Featuring innovative electric ovens, See No Evil is now open at the downtown concourse of the 50th St. 1 train station. The pizzeria is the brainchild of underground hospitality connoisseur Adrien Gallo and chef Ed Carew.

| 04 Mar 2024 | 07:20

Two entrepreneurs, Adrien Gallo and the famed chef Ed Carew, are cornering the market on subway dining. They’ve just opened See No Evil, a new pizza joint on the downtown concourse of the 1 train subway stop at 50th St.

In 2022, Gallo opened the hideaway cocktail bar Nothing Really Matters in the same station. He also created the Tiny Dancer café in Oct. 2023, which is steps away from the pizzeria.

In the past, Carew has worked with two downtown Italian restaurants: Rosemary’s in Greenwich Village, and Rosemary’s East in Stuyvesant Town.

It’s wise that they’re getting the word out now. Shortly after they opened, the MTA announced that uptown-bound 1 trains will skip 50th St. from March 4 through the end of the month, due to track renovation work.

When asked about the logic behind his latest venture by Straus News, Gallo simply said that “we’re New Yorkers, we love pizza.”

”A lot of the places around here, they’re big box spaces,” said Gallo. “They do good business, and good for them, but we really wanted to bring a downtown vibe to Times Square,” he said.

Gallo further elaborated that, when he opened his first two ventures, “I could’ve opened a dive bar or I could’ve done a bodega stand. Instead, I wanted to elevate the experience, because of the juxtaposition of the subway to the spaces.” See No Evil clearly continues in that vein.

The softly lit restaurant, which is perfect for an unhurried dinner date, indeed serves as a sort of counterpoint to the rush hour mania of its surrounding station. It’s situated in a former Dunkin franchise, which stripped the place bare when it shuttered over the pandemic. Needless to say, a great overhaul has been completed. Gallo touches up the paint job, which resembles nothing so much as a fresh tomato, himself.

Carew, the chef, had tomatoes on his mind as well. As far as “what stands out” about the restaurant’s pizza, he said, “the dough stands out. The next step is the tomatoes. It sounds so simple, and it can be easily overlooked, but it’s a foundation.” More importantly, he added, the pizza will “evolve” over time. This will be in part due to his kitchen’s collaborative nature, he said, and the fact that he’s eager to take suggestions on new pizza ideas from his “talented crew.”

The pizza style will be a hybrid between New York-style and Neapolitan-style, which will allow for more flexibility as far as texture goes. Unique electric ovens come courtesy of Marra Forni.

Carew emphasized that See No Evil isn’t just a stuff-and-run pizza joint, although it certainly could be: “This is a pizzeria that’s hiding the fact that we’re actually a restaurant, too. We’re not by any means unapproachable. You can either come in and get it quick, or hang and eat a bunch of stuff.”

All of Gallo’s subway ventures undoubtedly take some inspiration from Siberia, a watering hole that occupied the same side of the same subway station around the turn of the century. In 2001, The Brooklyn Rail neatly summed up the dying bar as “an appropriately dirty and malodorous temple to the dying values of rough-edged American nightlife: rock ’n’ roll, non-conformity, hard drinking, and good old-fashioned sleaze.” That outlet also pointed to a “well-spread” tale that it used to cater to KGB operatives during the Cold War.

Yet if Gallo has chosen the same arena to pursue his vision, he said that he hopes to attract a different set of customers with the distinctly non-sleazy See No Evil: the Broadway crowd.

“We’d love to get the people that work in the theaters to get over here. It’s an awesome place to check out of work and run over here,” Carew said.

Gallo echoed the sentiment, noting that a woman attending a performance later in the day had made a post-show reservation for her and her friends.

“We want to share it with the world,” Gallo said, realizing mid-sentence that the cosmopolitan landmark of Times Square presented that opportunity in the most literal sense possible. “We don’t have a choice!”