Lunch counter legend, Stage Restaurant, which has been shuttered since the East Village explosion across the street, is being booted from its tiny space on 2nd Avenue, reports WNYC. The owners of the building, Icon Realty, served Stage's team an eviction notice last night, telling them they have until the end of the month to get out. The notice cites a stop work order that the city issued late last month over the illegal installation of gas pipes. While initial reports blamed the landlord for that work, this eviction notice claims that Stage was the one working on gas pipes in the building's basement without a permit. For what it's worth, Icon's lawyer said he was "puzzled" by the allegations when news of the stop work order first broke. Meanwhile, Icon still does stand accused of doing illegal plumbing and electrical work throughout the building, and all tenants are still without gas.
So far, the 35-year-old Stage has stayed quiet about the eviction. There's nothing posted on social media and calls to the restaurant go unanswered.
Across the street, the block's other beloved lunch counter, B & H Dairy says that they are awaiting an inspector and hope to be open later this week.
Update: The Village Voice hears from an anonymous knowledgeable source that the Stage team is acquiring a lawyer and may stay put for now. According to the source: "It is not the end, it's just the beginning."