13 January 2010

The Latest Insane-Landlord-Induced Sadness

From the Daily News:

A Harlem diner where they've been slinging hash for 85 years might soon be serving its last cuppa joe, thanks to a massive rent hike.

The longtime owners of the Greek's Collegiate Food Shop on Amsterdam Ave. at 139th St. said they're hoping for a miracle to stay open.

"This place opened in 1925, and I took over in 1979, 31 years ago, so yes, I'm sad," said George Kakomanolis, who runs the restaurant with his sister-in-law, brother-in-law and son.

"I don't have the strength to begin again," he added. "It's not easy, and the economy isn't so good to risk it."

When the restaurant's 15-year lease expired in April, Kakomanolis was paying $2,000 a month rent.

The landlord, Perseus Management, granted him a six-month reprieve if he paid $3,000.

That agreement expired in October, and he has not paid rent since.

He expects to be evicted any day because he can't afford what the landlord is asking: $6,000 a month.

"I can't afford it," he said. "After so many years, it's not easy to change.

"I think I will try to find something similar, but I will have to work for someone else."

Diner Ira Blumenreich, who has been eating at the Greek's three to five times a week for 30 years, is one of many heartbroken customers.

"The food is good, the price is right and it's nice to go someplace where they know you," he said.

"They tell us every day what we are eating," Blumenreich added. "She tells us what's good today, and what we are eating."

"It's going to be difficult because there really isn't a place like this here in the neighborhood."

Perseus Management did not return calls for comment.

Perseus, huh? Medusa would be a better name.

From $2,000 to $3,000 to $6,000 a month in less than a year! In a recession! In Harlem!! Where is this landlord. I feel a great need to spit on him. And his family. And his dog. One day they find the repository where previously decent people turn in their hearts and souls and consciences in order to become landlords, and a lot will be explained.

No comments: