The Upper East Side location of theme restaurant Big Daddy's might be facing the shutter because of Second Avenue subway construction. A 2009 order from the city prohibited the '80s diner from operating an outdoor café to clear room for the construction of the line's 86th Street stop. Big Daddy's kept tables outside and the city's coming down hard. $3,000 in fines later, Big Daddy's is facing a five-day shutdown.
Owner Michael Schatzberg tells the Daily News that the tables and chairs were just out there to attract customers through the noise and congestion. (He also estimates the restaurant's lost $1.5 million in business because of the construction.) The Department of Consumer Affairs maintains that the penalties are for "illegally using the public sidewalk for [the restaurant's] own business by blocking an area already congested by construction," and for skipping hearings.
The five-day shutter was supposed to begin today but the DCA granted a "temporary, three-week reprieve," so it'll start August 24. Meanwhile, if Big Daddy's has lost as much as Schatzberg says and then, what are the chances this Big Daddy's location survives the Second Avenue subway construction?
· Big Daddy's Owner Guilty ... of Trying to Keep His Business Open! [NYDN]
· All Coverage of Big Daddy's [~ENY~]