After more than 35 years in business, quintessential greasy spoon Joe Jr. Restaurant on West 12th Street and Sixth Avenue will close this weekend. Devoted regulars and casual admirers were both dismayed at the news yesterday, and over 1,000 customers signed a petition begging the landlord to renew the lease, which expired June 30th. But 65-year-old owner Teddy Hondros seems resigned to his fate, and says an 11th hour overture from the landlord is too little too late; he's arranged to have the gas turned off and close after one more Saturday night.

Hondros's son Gregory, who manages the coffee shop, tells NY1, "It hurts right now. I'm trying not to cry because I grew up here since I was eight years old but it hurts me, it hurts my father, it hurts all of us." He says an electrical fire broke out in the basement of the building last month, and his father had been in a dispute with the landlord—also a father-son team—over who should pay for the repairs and renovation. Speaking to the Times, Gregory estimated that the work would have cost "hundreds of thousands of dollars." (Eater reports that figure at $750,000.)

Teddy Hondros tells Grub Street, "With the father I can agree all the time, but the son has new ideas. Maybe they want to clean this place, with all the smoke and oil. Young people don't want the flames, the cooking, all this stuff." While NY1 was on the scene, the elder landlord, Sal Iuso, showed up and promised to work out a solution to keep Joe Jr.'s alive. Gregory refused to believe him, insisting that Iuso's son wanted them out. Iuso replied, "Forget him altogether, forget him we'll rectify it that's it." But by all accounts, Teddy Hondros seems tired and absolutely committed to closing Sunday.