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Court Gives Grimaldi's Pizzeria the Weekend to Pay Off Massive Debts

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Grimaldi's, the famous pizzeria underneath the Brooklyn Bridge that was threatened with eviction, has won a reprieve from a civil court judge Friday.

Grimaldi's landlord, the Waxman family, sought to evict Grimaldi's for failure to pay rent and taxes owed to the city in a timely fashion.

But the judge is giving Grimaldi's owner, Frank Ciolli, until Monday to pay more than $60,000 he owes the Waxmans.

The exact amount is yet to be determined.

After the judge gave her decision, Ciolli exclaimed, "There is a god!"

He said he has the money he owes the Waxmans and will be at the pizzeria this afternoon, "to let all my employees know that they still have a job."

Mark Waxman, son of the owner Dorothy Waxman, said Ciolli has a pattern of late payments, and he's disappointed. "I feel that the law was on our side, but the judge made her decision and we have to respect her opinion," Waxman said. The Waxmans are considering whether to appeal. Ciolli, for his part, said he will sue the Waxmans and their attorney for the trouble he said they have caused him.

Whatever happens, Grimaldi's remaining time at 19 Old Fulton Street is probably not long. Ciolli's lease expires in November 2011, and Waxman says he has had inquiries from several parties interested in running a pizzeria there. Ciolli said he is considering moving Grimaldi's to a location near the Brooklyn Ikea.