Liberty Pizza in Clinton Hill
Hamdy Mahmoud and Liberty Pizza have been feeding the Clinton Hill community for 30 years! Photo credit: Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership

For 30 years, this family-owned and -operated gem has been feeding the Clinton Hill community. Now, it’s time to celebrate with a pizza party!

Hamdy Mahmoud and Liberty Pizza have been feeding the Clinton Hill community for 30 years! Photo credit: Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership

Liberty Pizza, a neighborhood original on Myrtle Ave, this month turns 30! To celebrate, Liberty Pizza owner Hamdy Mahmoud and his crew are giving out free slices of cheese pizza to the first 300 people who stop by the store on Friday, June 1, from 5:00pm to 6:00pm.

Owned and operated by the Mahmoud family, the neighborhood spot has come to be known for its unique mix of signature pies, Italian pasta and Middle Eastern cuisine.

When Mahmoud first opened Liberty Pizza with his brother, he thought the Clinton Hill community would appreciate his unique blend of Italian and Middle Eastern fare because “the neighborhood itself is an interesting mix.”

“Our customers love our pizza,” said Mahmoud. “They also love our gyros and the falafel which reflects our home, our origin.”

“Well, the first challenge was that we are not Italian. People couldn’t believe it when we started the business,” remembered Mahmoud. “But once the people tried our pizza, we became busy very quickly.”

A native of Egypt, Mahmoud immigrated to the United States and arrived in Brooklyn more than three decades ago. It was in Clinton Hill, which has been “his neighborhood from day one,” where he got married, opened his own business and raised five boys.

“The shop allowed me to put them through school, put them through college, to help them out in any way I can,” shared Mahmoud. “And the boys helped me out, too. They grew up in Liberty Pizza where I could keep a close eye on them, keep them behaved and out of trouble.” 

However, those 30 years have not always been free of trials. Winning the neighborhood’s trust, when Mahmoud first set up shop, was not easy.  

“Well, the first challenge was that we are not Italian. People couldn’t believe it when we started the business,” remembered Mahmoud. “But once the people tried our pizza, we became busy very quickly.”

Liberty Pizza in Clinton Hill. Photo credit: Zomato

Clinton Hill’s changing demographics is another ongoing challenge. When Liberty Pizza first opened its doors, the neighborhood consisted mostly of big families who often ordered large family-style pies.

Today, Clinton Hill increasingly has become home to young professionals and small families who often look for healthier food options, and pizza may not always be on top of that list. But Mahmoud has adapted by adding healthy options to his menu to meet the new demands. 

“We’re trying different angles. We have added more salads and now also offer pizza made with gluten-free or whole wheat dough,” said Mahmoud. “We just keep going.”

And what is it that keeps him going? 

“First of all, I like my job, I like my shop. I look forward to the chitchat with my customers, and I am happy to see them when they return. They become friends,” explained Mahmoud.

“And also the fact that I have five boys,” he laughed. “That’s enough for me to come to work.”

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Andrea Leonhardt

“Made in Germany,” Andrea Leonhardt is the managing editor for BK Reader. Andrea holds a bachelor’s degree in political science, with minors in American studies and education, and a master’s...

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