In December, the backyard at quintessential Hell's Kitchen dive bar Rudy's was closed down as the ownership started building a proper fire exit to comply with safety regulations. The proper work permits were obtained, but soon bar owners' received a stop-work order, and were told that a "routine audit" of the work had begun. That was seven months ago, and they still haven't been able to make the changes. Now rumor has it that the lost revenue from the backyard has put Rudy's future in jeopardy. A New York City without Rudy's is simply unthinkable—as unthinkable as a city without CBGB, Siberia, the Cheyenne Diner, Chumley's, the Alphabet City Toy Tower, or, uh, Casbar. It's unclear how dire Rudy's status is, but let's not take any chances: bar workers have started a petition, online here, demanding that city officials from the commissioner of buildings on up to Mayor Bloomberg help expedite the stalled process so Rudy's can reopen the backyard. [L Mag via Eater]