We just got word via the Stage Restaurant Facebook page that the family has now officially closed Stage Restaurant after fighting for months with its landlord to reopen after its gas was shut off following the East Village gas explosion nearby that killed two people, injured 22 others and caused the complete destruction of 3 buildings on Second Avenue. Stage Restaurant had been a "greasy spoon" diner in the East Village for years. It was owned by Roman Diakun since 1980. There were no tables inside, only a long Formica counter with stools for seating. They were known for their diner classics as well as Eastern European specialties including borscht soup and pierogies. Photo 2003 from our book "Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York."
Here is Roman's statement:
"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