Stage Restaurant, the old-school lunch counter just across the street from where three buildings burned and collapse last week, has been temporarily shut down after the Department of Buildings caught wind of some possibly illegal gas piping in the building where it's housed. As Gothamist reports, this past Sunday a ConEd inspector discovered a new gas pipe was being installed without a permit. The discovery came after someone living in the building smelled gas, and reported it to a nearby ConEd supervisor, who was no doubt on the block doing work related to the explosion across the street. That smell turned out to be from a gas leak cause by plumbing work, but also revealed the installation of said gas pipe.
This is, of course, particularly troubling given that the explosion across the street is likely to have been caused by gas pipes from Sushi Park being illegally tapped to supply the whole building. It's also bad news for Stage, which was the first restaurant to reopen on that block, just one day after the explosion. It's unclear how soon the gas will be turned on again, but some tenants – who report they've dealt with gas shut-offs among other problems since Icon Realty took over the building in 2013 – say they hear gas may not get turned on for six months to a year. If that's true, what would happen to Stage? All should become clearer soon.