Stage Restaurant, the old-school lunch counter on Second Avenue, has been closed for the better part of the last two weeks, ever since ConEd inspectors found illegal gas piping in the building and shut off its gas. That was a reasonable move – Stage, of course, is right across the street from where a building exploded and three collapsed a couple weeks ago, and the block has been getting extra scrutiny from ConEd. But the illegal gas pipe was the work of the landlord, not Stage. The closure has been tough on the tiny greasy spoon – which was one of the first to reopen, briefly, after the explosion – and now the owner's son, Andrew Diakun has started a petition to get it back in business.
The main issue, it seems, is with the landlord, who according to the petition Stage is "having trouble with." It's unclear who this petition will be presented to, and the restaurant might be better served by a crowdfunding campaign like the one started on behalf of B & H Dairy, another Second Avenue old-timer. Nonetheless, those who want to lend their support for Stage can do so on Change.org.
For the many other businesses on that stretch of Second Avenue still working to recover their losses, a Small Biz Crawl is going down tomorrow. It includes stops at Paul's Da Burger Joint, San Marzano, Bar Virage, and Hot Kitchen among other places. B & H may still not be open by then, but Matt Wardrop, the owner of Paul's, tells Eater it's looking like it could open Monday or Tuesday. So if you don't make it out this weekend, there should still be plenty of chances to show support for these businesses.