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Joe’s Pizza in Ann Arbor is one of two locations for the store outside of New York City, offering locals a taste of real New-York-style pizza. Huge lines pile outside of Joe’s every weekend, but to owner and manager Peter Levin, the crowds at Joe’s are part of the lively experience.

“I think it’s super fun,” Levin said. “We try to make it a really fun and comfortable experience for everybody, despite the line. People don’t seem to mind waiting in line … This year, we actually put speakers outside to try and keep that energy up.”

Levin and his business partner, Ian Lafkowitz, are both University of Michigan alumni, and they originally contacted the founders of the original Joe’s Pizza to try and bring it to Ann Arbor. According to Levin, it’s the energy of Joe’s that sets it apart from other pizza places, and it’s that energy that originally attracted Joe’s founders to Ann Arbor.

“We collectively agreed that Ann Arbor needed a Joe’s Pizza, and it made sense for the first (location) outside of New York to be here,” Levin said. “And it’s been great ever since.”

No matter how they got here, Joe’s is here to stay. It’s a place that welcomes everyone from students between classes and people coming back from a late night into its cozy location for not just warm pizza, but an energy and atmosphere unlike any other.

Daily Staff Reporter Riley Hodder can be reached at