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UES Diner Faces Major Challenges During 2nd Avenue Construction Project

Big Daddy's on Second Avenue (credit: Eileen Lehpamer/1010 WINS)

Big Daddy’s on Second Avenue (credit: Eileen Lehpamer/1010 WINS)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – An Upper East Side diner is struggling to stay afloat in the midst of the Second Avenue subway construction and city regulations.

In June 2009, the MTA requested Big Daddy’s, which is located at Second Avenue and 83rd Street, have its sidewalk cafe license revoked because of the construction project, according to the Department of Consumer Affairs.

The agency said it conducted walkthroughs of the area and saw the diner operating an outdoor cafe on several occasions.

Following several warnings, the diner was issued violations for unlicensed sidewalk activity in 2011 and 2012, according to the DCA.

The diner was fined a total of $3,000 and ordered to close for five consecutive days. The diner will be shuttered Friday and will reopen next Wednesday.

The DCA issued a statement saying, “An administrative judge ordered that this restaurant be sealed only after it had ignored nearly a dozen conversations and warnings by the City about illegally using the public sidewalk for its own business by blocking an area already congested by construction and then skipped multiple hearings.  There are more than 1,100 licensed sidewalk cafes in this City run by restaurants who are responsibly balancing their business needs with the rights of their communities.”

City Councilwoman Jessica Lappin tells 1010 WINS that the restaurant has made mistakes but that it deserves a break.

“There are rules on the books and Big Daddy’s broke the rules, but they’ve paid their fines,” Lappin said. “I would hope that the city would have some leniency and cut them some slack.”

Lappin said the owners of Big Daddy’s are concerned this will have a negative impact on their business.

“They’re very angry and they are upset,” Lappin said. “For them I think they feel like this is life or death and they are very worried about whether or not they’re going to be able to survive.”