Cafe Lalo, the neighborhood cafe made famous in Nora Ephron’s 1998 romantic comedy You’ve got mailat risk of deportation, according to a May 2022 statement court case filed with the city housing court. If successful, the landlord of 480 Amsterdam Avenue LLC stands to earn more than $23,000 in alleged unpaid rent – and possession of the property, at 201 West 83rd Street.
The original lease for the local restaurant was entered into in 1987 between owners Loomis J. Grossman and Ronald S. Friedman and their tenant Haim Lalo, according to the motion for non-payment. Subsequent lease extensions allowed Café Lalo to remain in its original location and, pending the outcome of the lawsuit, “New York’s most famous cafe” is expected to remain there until at least May 31, 2032.
Although the fourteen-day notice attached to the motion alleges that $60,674.68 is owing, the amount claimed in the original filing was $23,091.03 for March 2022 base rent, additional rent for water and sewer fees from February 2021 to December 2021 and additional rent for legal fees. costs. Most of the difference between the two amounts is the additional rent for water and sewer charges from March 2017 to February 2021 and from December 2021 to February 2022.
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Café Lalo filed a motion to dismiss end of May, alleging that the owner “did not obtain personal jurisdiction over the respondent [Cafe Lalo]” due to defects in service of the lawsuit. Specifically, the restaurant claims to have closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and has rest “Closed due to circumstances beyond the tenant’s control and the tenant attempted to resolve the issues with the landlord so that the cafe could reopen. As a result, the landlord was well aware that the cafe had been closed for over two years and that the cafe was empty.
Accordingly, counsel for the cafe argues that the owner has failed to establish jurisdiction over the cafe because he cannot serve the petition at a place where he knows the respondent will not be found because of the closing.
As the question of jurisdiction continues in a volley of dueling filings to support the parties’ respective arguments, Cafe Lalo has filed its own countersuit in state Supreme Court on July 20.
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In summary, he argues that the landlord failed to pay the restaurant for electrical loads that did not belong to the cafe and that there was “no outstanding payment due to the landlord for rent or additional rent and that the tenant is up to date with his obligations to pay the rent and additional rent” during the fourth modification of the lease carried out during the pandemic which extended the lease until 2040.
Café Lalo further alleges that the landlord refused to pay for water damage suffered at the premises between March 30, 2021 and April 30, 2021 and that rent is not yet due as the café remains closed since the beginning of the pandemic. He is asking the court to declare that no outstanding amounts are due and for money judgments, the amounts of which have yet to be determined.
Patch was the first to report the lawsuits.