Iconic Chelsea eatery Empire Diner lost its lease earlier this year, and was forced to shut its doors in May. The owners of the diner, which had been featured in movies such as Woody Allen's Manhattan, plan on reopening elsewhere in the city, but are now engaged in an ongoing legal battle with their old landlord over the name.

The company behind Coffee Shop in Union Square is taking over the prefabricated diner's space, and landlord Charles Levinson says they're ready to open in the next couple weeks under the name Empire Diner. The operators of the old Empire Diner, Mitchell Woo and Renate Gonzalez, filed a trademark suit in Manhattan Federal Court in April; Levinson shot back with his own claim to the name, as well as the merchandising and franchise rights. Woo and Gonzalez say they had a "verbal agreement" with Levinson to renew the lease for 15 years, but that he backed out at the last minute because he got "an amazing offer" he "couldn't turn down." Also in contention is the whereabouts of the diners famous 8-foot-tall reproduction of the Empire State Building which usually stood on the roof; it has gone missing; Levinson accuses Woo and Gonzalez of taking it, which they deny. Barring any last minute settlements, the case will likely go to trial next year. We can't imagine where on Earth New Yorkers will go for a late night coffee until this dispute is resolved.