[Photo by Grant Shaffer]
Attorneys for Icon Realty served an eviction noticed last night to the Stage, the beloved diner at 128 Second Ave., WNYC is reporting.
Stage owner Roman Diakun has until the end of this month to leave his 35-year-old neighborhood favorite. According to WNYC, the eviction notice cites a Stop Work Order the city had issued for unauthorized work being done on gas pipes in the basement. Here is the copy of the eviction notice, first obtained by WNYC...
At the end of March, the city issued a Stop Work Order at 128 Second Ave. for what they say was installation of a gas pipe and fittings without a permit.
According to DOB documents, a city inspector on March 29 observed this taking place in the cellar of the under-renovation building across Second Avenue from the site of the gas explosion that killed two men and brought down three buildings.
Per Gothamist on April 1:
Tim Neithercott, a tenant of 128 Second Avenue, told us that his landlords would intermittently turn off the building's gas during renovations, but that Con Ed was never notified, suggesting the landlord was doing so independently. "They've definitely been tampering with the gas on their own," Neithercott says, and indeed, on Sunday, a Con Edison inspector discovered that a new gas pipe was being installed on site without a permit.
Mitch Kossoff, a lawyer representing Icon, told WNYC earlier in the month that the owners were "puzzled" and not aware of any gas work being done.
There was also complaint filed with the city on March 31 claiming the following: "Customer is reporting a restaurant hooking up gas pipes. Name of restaurant is Stage."
Stage owner Roman Diakun's son Andrew started an online petition last week … collecting signatures to help generate support for the restaurant between East Seventh Street and St.Mark's Place.
Meanwhile, the city issued a Full Stop Work Order last Thursday at 128. According to the DOB, there was work being done in several apartments without proper permits, including electrical and plumbing. Residents are still without gas for cooking and heat, a tenant tells us.
Icon bought the building in the fall of 2013.
Updated 10:38 a.m.
DNAinfo's Lisha Arino talked with Roman Diakun.
“They don’t want me,” he said, referring to his landlord, 128 Second Realty LLC. “I didn’t do any crime.”
Diakun declined to comment further, but previously said at a small business meeting that he was making an emergency repair on the line and did not realize he needed a permit to do the work. He also denied that he was siphoning gas. The landlord, he added, refused to fix the line so he could reopen his business.
Arino also has quotes from Icon lawyer Joseph Goldsmith, who disputed Roman's claims.
Goldsmith told amNY that the Stage was "trying to cover up the siphoning that they had previously done and the Department of Buildings went for an unnanounced inspection and caught them in the act."
Goldsmith said the landlord is waiting for gas use records and pictures that a DOB inspector had taken during the visit.
Previously on EV Grieve:
The possibility that the Stage won't reopen on 2nd Avenue
City serves stop work order on Icon Realty-owned building for installing gas pipe without permit across from deadly 2nd Avenue blast zone (48 comments)
Petition to help reopen the Stage
Tenants at 128 2nd Ave. file suit against Icon Realty in housing court
Troubling talk about 128 Second Ave, and the long-term future of the Stage