Yes, Virginia, there is a $1 pizza slice in New York. And you’ve got Sana Ullah, owner of BD Star Pizza, to thank for it.

The Avenue A pizza peddler recently brought back the cheap-eats classic in a bow to popular demand, leading to coverage from several New York media outlets, including the New York Post

Ullah temporarily hiked the price of his 99-cent slice to $1.50 several months ago for the obvious reason: all of his ingredient costs, not to mention rent and labor, kept going up. “Everything is priced very high now—flour cheese, plates, napkins,” Ullah told New York website Hell Gate.

But many New Yorkers still feel entitled to a $1 slice—or, at least, nostalgic for the good ol’ days when pizzeria operators could afford to sell food for next to nothing. Worse, others in Ullah’s neighborhood simply can’t afford to pay 50 cents more. So when BD Star Pizza raised its price, business got worse, Ullah said. “Where maybe we’d have 100 people buy a 99-cent slice a night, now [it’s] maybe 50.”

“He lost clients like me,” East Village resident Robert Gower told ABC7 New York. “I didn’t come in as often.”

With the price back down to 99 cents, Nana Akuffo, another BD Star Pizza customer, has become a regular again. “Now I’m doing the dollar pizza every day because it’s good,” she told ABC7. “You know, when it was $1.50, [I bought a slice] maybe once in two weeks, once a week. Now [it’s] a good deal.”

In the Hell Gate interview, Ullah noted that customers in his neighborhood are facing their own hard times. Many can’t pay more than a buck for a cheese slice. “No one’s a billionaire around here,” he said.

Lauren Melodia, deputy director of the Center for NYC Affairs at the New School, said pizzeria operators like Ullah must balance their own need to turn a profit against their customers’ financial troubles.

“These business owners are particularly challenged by the fact that this is something that people have relied on [but which] no longer really lines up with what’s going on in the larger economy,” Melodia explained to Hell Gate. “People who are caught in this type of situation have very little bandwidth to maneuver.”

Melodia added that a price hike from $1 to $1.50 “might not seem like a lot, but if your rent went up as well, these all begin to crowd one another out in terms of your ability to purchase things. Something like a $1 slice, where part of the marketing about it is the fixed cost is really cheap, will eventually have to go up. It’s unavoidable. Nothing is 99 cents at a 99-cent store anymore.”

But Ullah plans to keep his slice prices affordable for as long as he can. “We’re here to help the people,” he said. “Someone only has one dollar, that means he couldn’t buy pizza (at the $1.50 price). Whole day he can’t eat.” At the reduced price of 99 cents, “He has one dollar, he can buy some pizza. It’s very good pizza, fresh every day.”

For her part, BD Star Pizza customer Gina Bennicasa rated the $1 slice a “5 out of 10” in quality, noting it was too cheesy for her taste. “But,” she told the New York Post, “I never really expect much from a dollar slice.”