The battle between Roman Diakun, the owner of 2nd Avenue lunch counter legend Stage and the restaurant's landlord Icon realty continues to escalate. Icon served Diakun an eviction notice earlier this week on the grounds that he was illegally siphoning gas and working on the gas lines without a permit. Diakun shot back that the accusations of siphoning were "absurd," and that he was unaware he needed a permit to have work done that would help him reopen after a multi-week shutter cause by the 2nd Avenue explosion.
We at the Stage Restaurant are deeply troubled by the landlord's false allegations that we engaged in any illegal siphoning of gas. Stage is a long-standing restaurant with deep connections to the community — we have never siphoned gas, and have committed no wrong.
Diakun, however, can't move forward with the necessary work to reopen without Icon's sign off:
Stage has requested that the Landlord sign off and cooperate with Stage's efforts in this regard....However, to date, Stage has been unable to secure the Landlord's consent to completing this repair work... Stage has requested that the Landlord withdraw the termination notice....the Landlord is seizing on the recent tragic events as an opportunity to wrongfully evict us for reasons unknown to us.
Both sides have lawyered up, so this debacle may be headed to court.