Rensselaer Union

Baba’s Pizza replaces Cusato’s Pizzeria

After six years of operation, Cusato’s Pizzeria closed in December 2020. Baba’s Pizza, a New York-style pizzeria operated by the owner of The Halal Shack, made its Rensselaer Union debut in February 2021 with the start of the in-person Spring semester. Many students returned to campus surprised to discover Cusato’s missing from its typical location. Ian McCaffery ’23 told The Poly, “I wish we had been notified that Cusato’s was struggling before they had to close.”

In an email to The Polytechnic, Business Operations Committee Chairperson Owen Cahan ’21 stated that Cusato’s closure was due to “COVID-induced decreased student flow through the Union.” Last March, the doors of the Rensselaer Union shuttered until further notice with the establishment of an Institute State of Emergency by President Shirley Ann Jackson to prevent the spread of COVID-19 disease. The shutdown of the physical campus barred students and members of the public from supporting Cusato’s.

However, students have been pleased with the quality of food and service Baba’s Pizza has to offer. Emily Berkemeyer ’23 wrote to The Poly, “The pizza is less greasy and cooked better, the bottom has a nice crisp. As someone from Long Island, where we actually have good pizza, I can confidently say Baba's is good for upstate pizza.”

Cahan added in his email that the Union Executive Board is uncertain whether Baba’s Pizza will be a temporary or permanent replacement for Cusato’s. He affirmed that “their success this semester will be pivotal in that determination.” Although Baba’s Pizza remains closed throughout the duration of the Trigger Level 1 Quarantine, its normal business hours are from 11 am to 8:45 pm Monday through Thursday, and 11 am to 7:45 pm on Friday.