Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Stage Restaurant will not be reopening


[Photo Monday by Steven]

On Monday, the gates at the Stage Restaurant at 128 Second Ave. between East Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place were up... offering a glimmer of hope that the 35-year-old diner might be reopening.

That's not the case. The Stage said goodbye today on Facebook...

Today we officially close our doors....As overwhelmingly unfortunate as it is, it's always important to look on the...

Posted by Stage Restaurant on Wednesday, March 2, 2016


The 35-year-old diner has been closed since last March 30. Stage owner Roman Diakun was involved in an ongoing legal/eviction battle here with landlord Icon Realty.

Icon, who bought the building in the fall of 2013, had accused the Stage of gas-tampering charges, which Diakun strongly denied.

Here's a second Facebook message from Diakun:

Dear wonderful and loyal customers, fans, friends, and neighbors,
It is with bittersweet emotions that we at Stage Restaurant are announcing that we are closing our doors permanently after 35 amazing years. The events of the year have been overwhelmingly devastating on us and we have decided to close the Stage’s door. Over the past year, we have resolved our dispute with the landlord and Icon Realty Management. Stage Restaurant never engaged in any wrongdoing; however, after our prolonged closure and because of the cost to make the repairs and expenses of reopening, we are sad to say that the Stage cannot reopen.

It has been our great honor and pleasure to serve and truly be a part of the community over the past 35 years. We are so grateful to all who have made the experience of running this restaurant in such a vibrant, and supportive area of this great city a remarkable and unforgettable journey for us. We will greatly miss our staff, many of which have put as much care and effort into the business as our family has. We would like to thank all of the customers we have had the pleasure of meeting for your business and friendships. Thank you all for your support, your signatures, your donations, and especially your kind words. We could not have realized our passion and love for nourishing and providing a place of comfort and gathering to the community without you all. Your loyalty, support, kindness and love have been a true blessing, and something we will never forget. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.
Roman Diakun

So good night...


[Photo by Michael Seto]

Previously on EV Grieve:
[Updated] Report: Icon Realty serves the Stage an eviction notice

Stage owner Roman Diakun responds to allegations of illegally siphoning gas

Petition to help reopen the Stage

[Updated] The Stage is giving away its bulk food and supplies to charity

Report: The Stage is suing landlord Icon Realty to halt eviction process

The Stage is now crowdfunding to help in its legal fight with Icon Realty

33 comments:

Gojira said...

I wonder how many times my heart can break before it shatters completely. Roman, please re-open in one of the many empty storefronts littering the avenues...

Anonymous said...

Freakin' sad. I am coming to an understanding of how this neighborhood is now in 2016.

Marcos said...

What horrible news. I would contribute to a funding campaign to cover whatever costs there are that are preventing them from re-opening. If Roman and others are opting for retirement then I would contribute to a farewell gift too.

Anonymous said...

This is another blow for an iconic block that has seen too many changes lately. It is not a neighborhood block anymore for me. Maybe for someone else but not for me. Icon will try to squeeze a kagillion dollars out of it now.

blue glass said...

well said gojira
unfortunately second avenue will soon be icon avenue and if you don't own your building you are fucked!
wave goodbye to our neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

I was getting tired of having good food at reasonable prices anyway. I would rather pay three times as much for some artisan crap at a pop up that leaves you unsatisfied.

EVQP said...

F**K the I-CONartists. And Con Ed's and the city's bureaucracy didn't help.

Echoing Gojira: Roman, please do try to reopen. We've been devastated without you.

Giovanni said...

So let me get this straight: New York's real estate developers spent the last two decades turning Manhattan into Disneyland, and now they are shutting down all the fun rides? And people are supposed to still want to pay top dollar to live here? Sounds like the biggest bait-and-switch job in history to me.

Bye to the Stage, on those cold rainy nights when the best thing in the world is a nice hot meal in a comfy diner, you will be missed.

Goggla said...

I guess this is not a surprise, but that doesn't stop the heartache. This one hurts more than losing all the other places I've loved as the Stage is where I always felt at home. Roman, the staff, the customers, and everyone who popped their head in the door represented everything I loved about this city. That tiny sliver of a room was 100% heart and soul. Thank you, Roman, and all the rest, for some of the best memories I'll ever have. I hope the Stage has a future some place else, where they are valued and loved.

Anonymous said...

Reading this on Wednesday, what was usually for me lasagna night (take out) from the Stage makes this news particularly sad. May Roman and his family find joy in their new life adventures.

cmarrtyy said...

Seems like everyday another death in the EV. Good Luck. And thank you for many wonderful meals.

Anonymous said...

Where could they ever find an affordable space around here these days... let alone their wonderful, unique little slice of NY!

IzF said...

I have nothing to say anymore. And that's FUCKED UP because anyone that knows me knows I speak my mind way too much. I knew it was the beginning of the end when they tore down the Palladium..

Concerned Parent said...

Back when this area was a shell (literally) of itself, people could get away with running electrical cords from the lamp post, or gas lines from who-knows-where. If the explosion and fire across taught us anything, it's that this can't continue.

Anonymous said...

Feelin' more and more that we are in the midst of a class war.

You KNOW what that means?

Anonymous said...

@Concerned Parent

What does that have to do with Stage? There was no finding of wrongdoing. A licensed plumber performed work in accordance with the appropriate code and the lines were never activated after the work was performed--they were to be activated pending inspection.

Anonymous said...

Nice work ICON!

Anonymous said...

Wow. ROT IN HELL, ICON. That is some scummy fucking behavior.

Anonymous said...

Thank you 1:06. You typed the words right out of my fingers. There was NO FINDING OF WRONGDOING on the part of the Stage. It was a set up.
And...

Anonymous said...

Fucking disgusting. Icon is scum of the earth and it's all going to come back around on them. This was one of the more fucked up "we want them OUT!" stories of the past couple of years. One of the worst "landlords" around. Absolutely no regard for the neighborhoods they try to swallow or the residents that pay them rent.

Edward Brown said...

Another "gas leak" eviction. Landlords across the city seem to have found a gold mine in the aftermath of the 2nd Avenue explosion. The more you look, the more you see examples of Naomi Klein's "crisis opportunism." Ruthless amoral bastids.

The Stage was one of the first places I stopped in to eat when I moved to the EV, lo those many years...hell, decades ago.

g whiz said...

I know EV Grieve did a store closing list a few weeks back but it'd be interesting to have a running list of business closings with landlord info and years open. It would show which landlords are having an effect in the neighborhood

Anonymous said...

I will miss Stage terribly. I had been hoping for the past year that they would return, but it is not to be.

Farewell Roman and Co. You guys did a great job of supplying comfort and nourishment.
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oh... and ICON Realty.... FUCK YOU !!

Anonymous said...

warm support and thanks to Roman, Andrew, Robert and everyone at the Stage for all the good times over the years! Thank you making the Stage so awesome and best, best luck in the future!!! we heart you!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I feel like a family member died. I'm ready to move.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear this news. I would certainly contribute to any crowd-funding effort in support of Roman, whether to re-open elsewhere or simply to help him & his family in this time of transition.

As to Icon's bogus "gas leak" claim against Stage, please note that lots of Icon's rental properties have tenants who have propane barbecue grills and/or have roof party-decks with propane grills. We'll ALL be much safer if, every time we notice one of those, we report it to the FDNY. And keep reporting it until it's removed.

Anonymous said...

This is almost the last straw for me.

Anonymous said...

4:47 said it! just wish i could have said goodbye and thank you. stage, i will never forget your warm glow, delicious food, and kind and wonderful staff!

Anonymous said...

I say boycott the East Village. This way all the businesses which made it great will close and they'll get a head start to do business where they won't be fucked with.

Let the bros, hos, and whoever else have their boring, sterile, quasi-mall.

'Wanna support places like Stage Restaurant without having to step foot in the East Village? Go to Cozy Soup 'N' Burger on Broadway at Astor Place, Waverly Restaurant at Sixth Avenue and Waverly Place, and Washington Square Diner on W.4th between Sixth Avenue and MacDougal St. Those are the last oldschool (to me pre-1990) diners left in the immediate area.

Anonymous said...

Odessa (half!), Little Poland, Uk. National Home, Neptune, and a few others are still around.

Also, Remedy Diner on E. Houston tries for the vibe and the food is good.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Joe Junior's at 16th and 3rd. So good, and I'm not sure when they opened but a bunch of the same nice guys have been working there since at least the mid-90's.

Anonymous said...

I find it very sad that 2 local NYC kids, Todd Cohen and Terrance Lowenberg (ICON), would help contribute to the downfall and collapse of real neighborhoods.
These guys grew up on the Upper East side, went to private school, and come from VERY wealthy families. The fact that they are only interested in making as much money as possible shows they have no soul, and are the epitome of GREED and CAPITALISM gone awry.
Do these guys really need the money? At what expense? Destroying neighborhoods, evicting long time tenants and people who make up the fabric of a strong community, shows that these two guys are pure evil. They could do anything they want, being that they come from Mega Rich families on the Upper East Side, yet they choose to be the lowest of the low (real estate speculators), and became greedy preying PIGS who are only interested in getting as rich as possible so they can live their silly lifestyles out in the hamptons, while driving expensive cars and wearing ugly cardigan sweaters, all while swearing they aren't closeted homosexuals who secretly hate their lives.

Anonymous said...

@12:21pm: Exactly. I'm blaming bad parenting (seriously), lack of moral conscience, and sheer greed.

If I'd raised kids who turned out that way, I would hang my head in shame.

I'd bet the Icon honchos liked to pull the wings off flies when they were kids. These people have no sense of regard, decency or responsibility toward anyone but themselves. Their karma gets heavier with every passing day.