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Pizza Politics

The Domino's Effect

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"Get the door. It's Domino's" is the latest slogan from the pizza chain. "But not if you live in Harlem," counters Brian Keith Jackson. Manhattanites (and an ex-president) may be flocking northward. But that doesn't mean the amenities they've grown accustomed to are following them.

Two months ago, Jackson, a 32-year-old African-American novelist, dialed the 125th Street Domino's, only to be told he'd have to pick up his pizza in his lobby. He'd just moved from 103rd Street and Central Park West (where Domino's went up to his apartment) to a two-bedroom on St. Nicholas Terrace at the bottom of St. Nicholas Park.

Working his way up the Domino's food chain, he called the manager, then the store's owner, Anthony Maestri. According to Jackson, Maestri (who could not be reached for comment) said he uses police reports to decide which buildings get full service. Jackson noted that other deliverymen come to his door.

Domino's spokeswoman Holly Ryan says Jackson is the first to take on the Harlem store, but similar complaints have been filed in four states. In June, after a Justice Department investigation, Domino's agreed to enforce a policy based on legitimate safety concerns. "We take these complaints very seriously," says Ryan. "We're setting up a meeting with Mr. Jackson and our head of security."

"You don't mess with a novelist with a book about to come out. I have a lot of downtime," says Jackson, who has discovered the joys of ordering from Fairway. "You need to know the rules of business. I know Bill Clinton could get a pizza if he wanted."


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