Pinky’s Space, a restaurant and art gallery in the East Village from parent company Cherry Velvet Inc., is suing the city after the destruction of its outdoor dining setup with apparently “zero warning” from the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT).
According to the New York Post, the city tore down the venue’s $90,000 roadway dining structure on October 27th after claiming it was too past the curb, was not ADA compliant, lacked reflective materials, and covered a manhole.
Pinky’s Space affirms they had no warning and were rather informed that the city would be issuing fines for non-compliance violations. According to the venue’s last inspection, there was never any mention of the setup’s possible need for removal. However, the DOT argues that two cease-and-desist letters were sent in October, in addition to two prior in the summer. The suit refutes that the requested changes were made following the letters that were received in the summer.
Yet, an 18 member crew took down the structure that quickly became a recognizable reference point in the neighborhood thanks to its bright, neon pink lights that illuminated the area after the city implemented its Open Restaurants Program.
“It took two years to build and 3 hours to eviscerate,” shares Pinky’s Space’s website. “We weren’t even given the courtesy to remove the elaborate pink neon lights. The neon lights were literally cut and thrown in the dumpster before they continued to demolish it all. We weren’t even allowed to keep any of the wood!”
Pinky’s Space’s case was filed on January 5th, asking the city for $615,000 in reparations.
The owners of Pinky’s Space, a husband and wife duo, depended on NYC’s Open Restaurant Program and heavily invested in their outdoor dining setup. They shared on the restaurant and gallery’s website that they are “distraught” but “resilient.” As they move forward they are asking the community for their support.