The embattled Cipriani family's grip on the Rainbow Room is still holding fast, thanks to a court order issued yesterday by the Manhattan Supreme Court. Two weeks ago, the family announced that they would close the Rainbow Grill, the restaurant on the 64th Floor of Rockefeller Center, because of the economic tailspin. They had planned to keep the Rainbow Room—the iconic 65th floor Art Deco ballroom and dinner club—open, but then landlord Tishman Speyer moved to evict the restaurateurs because they haven't paid rent since September.

According to Eater
, vendors supplying the Cipriani restaurant empire have had trouble getting paid, and the Ciprianis have been withholding rent payments because of a drawn-out rent arbitration with the landlord. The original ten year lease signed in 1998 was for $4 million a year, then a property reappraisal increased the rent to $8.7 million in February 2007, the Daily News reports. Last month the rent was lowered to $6 million, but now the Ciprianis are suing, accusing the property owner of trying to "force Cipriani out of business at the premises and thus out of the premises."

According to Bloomberg News, the Ciprianis contend that the lease termination was retaliation for the family’s arbitration victory and “part of Tishman Speyer’s plan to convert the iconic Rainbow Room to office space." Tishman Speyer insists they simply want "another great restaurateur" to run the Rainbow Room, which will now remain open under Cipriani control until at least January 27th, thanks to the court's temporary restraining order. And today the Times editorial board wistfully writes, "We hope that it finds a way to survive."

Photo courtesy AP/Suzanne Plunkett.