Score another victory for greedy NYC landlords, and a loss for the rest of us. Big Nick’s Burger and Pizza Joint, which has served delicious and affordable meals on the Upper West Side since 1962, has closed its doors, driven out of business by a $200,000 a year rent hike. That’s not something this round-the-clock neighborhood institution at Broadway and 77th could afford by serving bacon cheeseburgers, homemade moussaka and pizza and breakfast omelets. The NYTimes profiled Greek Immigrant Nick Imirziades – the Nick for whom Bick Nick’s is named — in a recent article about the rent increase crisis.
Big Nick’s lease is owned by the owner of the nearby Hotel Belleclaire, which is going upscale with recent renovations. Seems to me that the rent increase is to help pay for those renovations, and also to take advantage of deep-pocket national retailers moving in. So what will become of Big Nick’s? Another bank? Another Starbucks? Another CVS or Walgreens? Sigh.
Click here for the NYCOTC posting on other Vanishing NY local businesses we lost recently, including Daffy’s, Colony Records and Harlem Lanes.
My dad used to own a store at 86th and Broadway. When his lease was up, the landlord wanted to quadruple the rent. My dad bailed, and retired, and the landlord carved the large store into three smaller ones, each of which paid more rent than my dad. That was 25 or 30 years ago, so greedy landlords are nothing new.