One lone restaurant in the mall at Pier 17 is still open for business, despite the fact that the entire space is shuttered and awaiting demolition. The rest of the businesses in the South Street Seaport mall were forced out when it closed earlier this month, but Simply Seafood is refusing to leave. Owner Joseph Demane has been running the restaurant since 1994, and before that ran a fish store on Fulton Street alongside his father. He tells DNAinfo that he signed a lease through 2020. Demane explains: "I'm open from 10 a.m. to 9, just like we've done for nearly 20 years...I'm here, ready to serve customers — and I'm not leaving."
Demane's lease has been the center of a years-long battle with two different landlords, and now he's waiting on a court hearing to resolve the issue with the current landlord, the Howard Hughes Corporation. Howard Hughes would like him out as soon as possible, in order get started on plans to tear down the mall and replace it with a massive new development. But in the meantime, Simply Seafood is still adamantly serving fish and beer, even at a loss, inside the dark, vacant building on Pier 17.
· Holdout Restaurant Forces Shuttered Pier 17 to Leave Doors Open [DNAinfo]
· All Coverage of Pier 17 [~ENY~]
[Photo by Nathan Kensinger]