On Monday, Stage Restaurant's owner Roman Diakun received an eviction notice. He was told that has until the end of the month to get his 35-year-old Ukrainian lunch counter out of its 2nd Avenue home because he was illegally siphoning gas. But Diakun is now fighting back, calling the allegations against him "absurd." Bedford + Bowery breaks down all of the information. Here's what allegedly happened:
The Department of Buildings and Con Ed found a gas line in the basement that was "inappropriately accessed." And, when they arrived, they also found someone working on the pipes without a permit. It's unclear if that person was hooking up or dismantling the tap, but Icon Realty's lawyer has said he suspects it was the latter. He believes that "after the explosion across the street the people who had installed the siphoning mechanism were trying to uninstall it."
On his part, Diakun admits to working on the gas lines, but explains that he didn't know he needed a permit to have the work done. "OK, I didn't get a permit, but I thought it was an emergency." Both sides have lawyered up.
Meanwhile, residents who live in the building, including Diakun, have been without gas since the 2nd Avenue explosion. Icon is covering some hotel bills and offering temporary water boilers to residents, but the building needs about $90,000 of upgrades so the gas can be safely turned on. No word on when that will happen.