Neil’s Coffee Shop has been evicted from its longtime home at the corner of East 70th Street and Lexington Avenue after filling the bellies of hungry Upper East Side residents for decades. According to court documents, the popular diner has been arrears on its rent for years.
A notice reading ‘Marshal’s Legal Possession’ now taped to the front window of the 83-year-old luncheonette is dated Tuesday, March 7th — the day Neil’s Coffee Shop was evicted from its space at 961 Lexington Avenue.
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The eviction comes after a legal battle dating back to 2018, when Neil’s was sued by its landlord for not paying its rent, accumulating debt to the $285,000.
According to filings reviewed by Upper East Site, Neil’s Coffee Shop ended up reaching a settlement to chip away at their debt while resuming rent payments, however, the landlord says those payments stopped in 2021 — and after another settlement stopped again in August 2022.
Last September, Neil’s Coffee Shop filed for Chapter 11 protection, disclosing in filings in US bankruptcy court that by point they owed their landlord $800,000 — by last month, that number had grown to close to one million dollars, according to court documents.
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The bankruptcy declaration was enough to slow down, but not stop the eviction proceeding, which was given the green light to move forward last month after the death of the restaurant’s owner, records show.
Neil’s Coffee Shop originally opened back in 1940 and, to the delight of longtime customers, kept its Old New York charm until its final day serving the Upper East Side.
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In case these greedy landlords forgot, 2021 was rough not only for NY but for the entire country! How do you pay rent when you have no customers because your business is closed due to a pandemic? Maybe they could have worked out some kind of payment plan. All of these long time businesses and stores are being closed by these robber landlords. Where are the politicians to stand up for these small business owners? I love this place – good food, great prices. I hope they can make a comeback. What a loss for the neighborhood and for people who come into that part of NY.
Actually Sarah we should be telling the city to give landlords a break and not force them to pay insane amounts of money for property taxes. Then the landlord can give a break to its tenants. Tired of hearing the greedy landlord narrative. It’s the burden the city puts on landlords which then effects the tenants.