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Opening in a New York Lockdown: An interview with Jonathan Kaplan

jonathan kaplin standing in front of carnegie pizza sign

It may seem impossible, but Carnegie Pizza is opening in a New York lockdown.

I found Jonathan Kaplan on Instagram. I happened to be following his long-time friend, mentor, and fellow restauranteur, Eytan Sugarman, who posted a photo to show his support for the opening of Carnegie Pizza in Times Square.

I can’t really explain why, but I immediately felt drawn to learn more about Jonathan. It turns out his story is both unique and an accurate depiction of what so many entrepreneurs are facing during this difficult time.

He’s one of too many small business owners swept up in the economic hurricane that is COVID-19, grappling with uncertainty and doing his best to navigate an industry he’s known all of his life.

This is his story.

PS, If you listen to the end, you’ll hear a funny anecdote about the uncanny nature of our initial chat and the minor heart attack I gave him when I reached out to him for this interview about opening in a New York lockdown.


New Yorkers don’t leave. We have an understanding. And if something can take us down, everybody else better be very, very afraid. So we have to accept that nothing can take us down.

There are a couple of other things worth noting about this episode:

We recorded this interview on October 29th, pre-election and before the current indoor dining restrictions in New York City.

For the first time ever, I’m offering Made for That merchandise:

Opening in a New York Lockdown: Official merchandise launch

For each new episode, you’ll be able to purchase t-shirts, hoodies, hats, and more items that feature a quote from my guest. There have been some very memorable moments on the show and this is one more way to let them live on forever.

I’m launching Made for That merch with this episode. All proceeds will support both the podcast and Carnegie Pizza.

Shop your favourite items below to show your support, or choose one (or all!) of the following ways to show Jonathan and Carnegie Pizza some love:

Follow Carnegie Pizza

Send/Order a Pizza

Support Jonathan and Carnegie Pizza by sending a pizza to someone you know in NYC or order in for yourself!
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