Big Nick's Burger and Pizza Joint, the Upper West Side's bastion of post-boozing burgers, subs and slices, is in danger of shuttering over a $200,000 a year rent increase. Owner Nick Imirziades, who got Big Nick's started on 77th and Broadway in 1962, broke the news on the restaurant's Facebook page. "I can pay the $40,000 per month I am paying now," Imirziades wrote. "I just can't pay $60,000. It is only 1000 square feet (and you know how small my place is)!"
We called Big Nick's earlier today, and while we were unable to reach Imirziades, an employee confirmed the rent conflict, if not the closure itself. "We hear there's some kind of rent increase that the business can't handle," he told us. "We might be closing. We're working on some kind of deal, but so far we don't know which way it's going to go." And West Side Rag says the close is all but imminent, with a source telling them, “[Nick's] just letting people know why."
The 24-hour joint is an UWS staple—it celebrated its 50th anniversary last year with 60 cent burgers— and locals say they're sad to see it go. " I lived 3 years in NY and I considered Big Nicks my second home," one commenter posted on Facebook. "I can't believe this is happening." No word yet on if and when they'll close up shop for good, but since the 'hood's closest Chase Bank is a full two blocks away, they're probably due for another one, and buzzed UWS pub-crawlers can expect to spend future after-Gin Mill-hours trying to coax mozzarella sticks out of an ATM.