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The Drug Bust That (Almost) Sunk A Pizza Legend

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[Photo: Pizza Gigi]

After news spread that Pizza Gigi had been busted for drugs, the Twitterverse responded with the cheeky hashtag: #WasThatReallyOreganoOnMyPizza; that weekend, they became the butt of a joke on Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update.

It was in the early hours of Valentine's Day 2011 when police raided Salvatore Crimi's family business – open for more than 30 years – and found, as the Toronto Star reported, "$1 million dollars in marijuana, half an ounce of cocaine, MDMA, Oxycocet, and OxyContin inside." The pizzeria was instantly closed, and neighbours speculated: Had they been dealing to the high school kids across the street? But instead of lying low, Crimi got down to work; the exterior was painted a yellow-mustard (which was immediately vandalized with the words: "where da crack at?"), and the interior was redecorated. Two weeks later, Gigi was back open for business, but for months, Crimi wasn't allowed inside, the restaurant still a crime scene, and he the main suspect. In his exile, he demoted himself to delivery guy and adopted the somber gaze of a Dead Man Walking With Pizza. Most assumed that it was only a matter of time before Crimi was carted off to prison. But to anyone who asked, he pulled a Rob Ford, and denied everything. Miraculously, the strategy seems to have paid off: A few months back, when asked what was happening with the police investigation, Crimi off-handedly remarked: "it's all over." When pressed to elaborate, he just repeated: "It's all over" and went back to work.
· Pizza restaurant shut down after drug charges laid [Toronto Star]

Pizza Gigi

Get directions 189 Harbord St Toronto, ON M5S 1H5, Canada