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East Village restaurant sues city for $615K after losing outdoor dining structure

East Village restaurant sues city for $615K after losing outdoor dining structure

An East Village restaurant is suing the city for tearing down its outdoor dining shed and in search of lots of of 1000’s of {dollars} in damages.

In a lawsuit filed final week, Pinky’s Area, owned by mum or dad firm Cherry Velvet Inc., says that on the morning of Oct. 27 of final yr, the city’s Division of Transportation demolished its outdoor dining structure “without any warning whatsoever” and “without cause, legal authority, or due process.” The lawsuit is in search of $615,000 in damages.

Pinky’s possession stated the eye-catching 30-foot structure inbuilt July 2020, decked out in pink neon lights and full with a backyard, hanging disco ball and chandelier, value tens of 1000’s of {dollars} to construct and keep. The swimsuit claims that DOT staff destroyed Pinky’s personal property, refusing to let the house owners hold any of the wooden, vegetation or different supplies, and destroying the lights by chopping them, rendering them ineffective.

It was “guttural devastation,” in accordance with Mimi Blitz, co-owner of the art-food area.

“Beyond even the financial stuff, we put so much love in there, and care, and attention, and mindfulness and thoughtfulness of it,” Blitz informed Gothamist. “It just got ripped away, and for unjust reasons.”

The dismantling of the structure got here one month after Mayor Eric Adams introduced an initiative to destroy deserted or unsafe outdoor dining sheds. However Pinky’s house owners stated their structure was neither. A DOT spokesman informed Gothamist that Blitz’s outdoor dining structure was too far off the curb, lacked “reflective materials” and was not compliant with the Individuals with Disabilities Act. It was additionally protecting a manhole, the spokesman stated.

Based on the lawsuit, Pinky’s obtained two stop and desist orders of compliance concerning the outdoor structure and made the requested adjustments on every event. The house owners claimed they have been by no means informed their structure was harmful and can be taken down.

“There was no communication in regards to saying, ‘Look, this is an imminent danger. We’re going to have to just sweep it away and take it away,’” Blitz stated. “So we were completely caught off guard when that happened.”

However the DOT spokesman informed Gothamist the restaurant proprietor had obtained “proper notification” of the structure’s elimination, together with a stop and desist in August alleging the structure was out of compliance and one other discover on Oct. 4 offering a five-day heads up earlier than demolition. A 3rd discover was despatched one week later, the spokesman stated.

Blitz stated the restaurant has been in a “financial tailspin” ever since after being pressured to cancel a lineup of occasions deliberate within the outdoor area. Nonetheless, she and her husband have been capable of construct a brand new structure out of scrap wooden and different supplies, and Blitz stated they hope to stay within the neighborhood.

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