Put a fork in Joe Jr's, friends—the legendary Lower Sixth Avenue eatery does indeed plan to close Sunday, confirms owner Teddy Hondros and his son, to our correspondent live on the scene. Here now, our correspondent's reportage from the diner, which has transformed into an instant wake:
Owner's son talking to NY1 camera crew: 'It hurts. I'm trying to to cry right now—I grew up here'... They have over 300 signatures on the petition, but it was started at customers' behest, not the owners, so it doesn't mean much... What they're saying: there was old electrical systems in the building that the restaurant had been asking to be fixed for years. Landlord didn't fix it. Then there was an electrical fire and the buildings owner wants the restaurat to sign a new lease asking THEM to pay for $750,000 in repairs... The owner has gone in the back. The guy's heartbroken... The place is packed. People are really moved. There's even a pair of Japanese tourists!... There's a dude in here that's been coming for 40 years: 'It's a standard. A staple. This place is a part of my life!'
A friend of Eater's, and Joe Jr's, emails:
Glad to see the notice about Joe's is already on your site. It's been a· ALERT: West Village Diner Legend Joe Jr's May Shutter [~E~]
part of the neighborhood for more than 30 years—opened and still owned by the same person named Ted.
It's not just about real estate apparently though the deal they had offered him is supposedly double his current rent. They want him to be responsible for the entire bldg in case of fire etc. It's truly a shame. This restaurant has been and still is a vibrant part of the community and certainly one of the few remaining small business landmarks of
character. It's also been surrounded increasingly by stores which have come and gone that just can't afford to stay in business during these tough times. Unlike them, Joe's has shown no sign of losing steam and employs 20 people.