After being forced to close after the Second Avenue explosion, after fighting eviction from their landlord, Icon Realty, and crowdfunding for support, The Stage just announced they will not be reopening. On Facebook they write:
"Today we officially close our doors....As overwhelmingly unfortunate as it is, it's always important to look on the bright side of things. Time to say goodbye to yesterday and hello to tomorrow."
Last night, their metal gates were open, causing some of us to hope for a reopening. Robert Brenner took a photo and wrote on his Facebook page:
"Saw the gate up at the Stage Restaurant after being shuttered for months and got hopeful. But my source tells me the landlord was just changing the locks. The landlord has doubled the rent and wants the Stage out of there one way or another."
And it's another heartbreaking loss for the East Village. #SaveNYC.
photo: Robert Brenner
Stage owner Roman adds the following message via Facebook:
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.
And here's how one angry local expressed their feelings about the closure today -- via E.V. Grieve -- a notice taped to the door that reads "Closed by order of a money grubbing landlord and real estate development scum."