By Leslie Albrecht
UPPER WEST SIDE — A 24-hour neighborhood diner that's served as a second home to some customers is closing after more than a decade on Broadway and West 77th Street to make way for a mysterious new development.
Sam Anastasiou, co-owner of Manhattan Diner, said he'll close up shop in between two and six months because property owner Friedland Properties wants to tear down his building.
Anastasiou said he didn't know whether he would try to move his restaurant to a new location. "I have no clue what's going to happen," Anastasiou said. "I'm in the street."
The 11-year-old greasy spoon restaurant is one of several businesses on the east side of Broadway between West 77th and 78th streets that say they're being pushed out to make way for new development.
The block includes New Pizza Town, Laila Rowe, Cosi, Susie's Nails, World of Nuts candy shop and several other small merchants. Some, such as Laila Rowe, say they're closing by the end of February. Others say they'll stay until early spring.
Friedland Properties did not respond to several requests for comment. The Department of Buildings website doesn't list any current demolition permits for buildings on the block.
"Those guys don't care, you're just a number to them," said Manhattan Diner co-owner Sam Anastasiou.
Diner manager Asti Vouvourakis said customers were "hurt" by news of the closing. Manhattan Diner has served as a second home to many neighborhood regulars, Vouvourakis said.
"It's not only the food, it's the family," Vouvourakis said. "It keeps the neighborhood together. It makes people happy. A good diner, people feel good about it."