A longtime fixture on the Upper West Side could soon be forced out of its location, much to the dismay of many of its customers. NY1's Jon Weinstein filed the following report.
Despite its name, Big Nick's is a pretty tiny restaurant. But it's an Upper West Side institution that's been serving burgers and pizza for more than 50 years on 77th and Broadway.
"I've been taking care of the Westsiders for all of these years, with proper service," said Nick Imirziades, the owner of Big Nick's.
That long run could be coming to an end at its current spot. The owner said his landlord wants to raise his rent by $20,000. He said that's just something he can't afford.
"It is impossible to ends meet for this kind of money, because I'm serving hamburgers and pizza," Imirziades said. "It's a small store, 1,000, 1,100 square feet the maximum."
The restaurant's space is listed by real estate brokers online.
Big Nick's is the latest neighborhood staple to be a victim of rising rents much to the dismay of many longtime residents.
"So all the cute little, quaint little places that make up the atmosphere of the neighborhood end up disappearing, and the people in the neighborhood have no say in it," said one.
"It's a wonderful neighborhood place, and there are those of us that have been living here like me for 40 years who are sad to see the neighborhood places go," said another.
Nick himself doesn't know the time frame of when he might be forced out. With that uncertainty, he worries about what might happen to his 45 employees. He said he's surviving on month-to-month leases with the landlord right now.
"I can be out next month, because I'm standby, I'm standby," he said.
The general manager of the Belleclaire Hotel, who is Big Nick's landlord, declined to comment for our story.
Nick said if he does end up leaving his current location, he will look to open somewhere a little bit further uptown.