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Stage Restaurant Sues Landlord to Fight Eviction Over 'Bogus' Claims of Gas Siphoning

The little East Village lunch counter isn't going down without a fight.

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Roman Diakun, the owner of Stage Restaurant, is now suing his landlord for trying to evict the old-school East Village lunch counter over claims that it had been siphoning gas. Stage, which sits across the street from where the East Village explosion took place, has been closed since the beginning of the month, when a Con Ed inspector found illegally installed gas pipes in the building. Shortly after that, Icon Realty, the owner of the building, served the 35-year-old restaurant with an eviction notice, claiming it was the one to blame for the illegal gas work.

Diakun has already spoken out publicly to insist that the claims he was siphoning gas are "absurd," and with this lawsuit he gives his version of what went down. He says that after the explosion, Con Ed itself advised him to hire a plumber to turn his gas back on. That plumber discovered a gas leak, and performed emergency repairs to fix it, under the understanding it was ok to do so without waiting for a permit, given the recent explosion.

Clearly, Stage isn't going down without a fight, but whether it will survive the long closure remains to be seen.

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