EAST VILLAGE, Manhattan –– A popular neighborhood diner – initially closed last spring over siphoning gas allegations – has been shutdown for good.
Stage Restaurant on Second Avenue announced the official closing on their Facebook page Wednesday afternoon, citing expenses associated with reopening the venue.
“As overwhelmingly unfortunate as it is, it’s always important to look on the bright side of things,” their last post reads. “Time to say goodbye to yesterday and hello to tomorrow.”
The East Village staple, which mainly served Ukranian and Polish food for more than 35 years, closed its doors last year in March after a deadly gas explosion nearby that killed two – due to allegations by the landlord over siphoned gas.
Despite clearance from Con Ed and no evidence of tampered meters or pipes, Stage remained closed because of a legal dispute with their landlord and Icon Realty Management.
Efforts to reopen the eatery persisted online as a petition circulated on Change.org, but were not enough to bring the restaurant out of its financial hole.
“It has been our great honor and pleasure to serve and truly be a part of the community over the past 35 years,”Roman Diakun, the owner of Stage said on Facebook. “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.”
Former customers from places far and wide lamented the loss of Staple in posts mentioning the closing.
“The East Village has lost another gem,” one commenter said.
“Roman, from Lond, we send our warmest love and will always remember your kindness when Olivia threw up on the counter,” another recalled. “We will miss you each and every time we visit.”