Rent Hike Kills Greek's Collegiate Food Shop on Amsterdam Ave. in Harlem
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George Kakomanolis is seen together with his son Christos at their store cash register, which they will keep as a memento.
A Harlem diner where they've been slinging hash for 85 years might soon be serving its last cuppa joe, thanks to a massive rent hike. The longtime owners of the Greek's Collegiate Food Shop on Amsterdam Ave. at 139th St. said they're hoping for a miracle to stay open. "This place opened in 1925, and I took over in 1979, 31 years ago, so yes, I'm sad," said George Kakomanolis, who runs the restaurant with his sister-in-law, brother-in-law and son.
When the restaurant's 15-year lease expired in April, Kakomanolis was paying $2,000 a month rent. The landlord, Perseus Management, granted him a six-month reprieve if he paid $3,000. That agreement expired in October, and he has not paid rent since. He expects to be evicted any day because he can't afford what the landlord is asking: $6,000 a month."I can't afford it," he said. "After so many years, it's not easy to change.