By Leslie Albrecht
UPPER WEST SIDE — Waiters at the Upper West Side restaurant that counts Lady Gaga among its investors say they're in a bad romance with the eatery's owner.
A waiter at Vince and Eddie's on West 68th Street and Columbus Avenue says he and about a dozen other employees still haven't been paid for their three weeks of work prior to the restaurant's sudden closing last month.
The 23-year-old Italian-Continental restaurant drew headlines last fall when news broke that pop mega-star Lady Gaga was a silent partner investor and that her parents Joe and Cynthia Germanotta were co-owners.
The restaurant's owner, Peter Digiuseppe, told DNAinfo he would pay his employees next week. He said he didn't know if the restaurant would re-open.
But one waiter, who didn't want his name used because he fears retaliation by the restaurant's owners, said he and other employees have been hearing promises from Digiuseppe since March.
The waiter said he found out the restaurant was closing when he showed up for work on March 1 and found Vince and Eddie's empty. Since then, he and other employees haven't been able to get an explanation about why the restaurant closed or whether it would open again, he said.
The server said he and the restaurant's other employees, including dishwashers, bartender and maitre d', filed complaints with the state Department of Labor about the alleged unpaid wages. A Department of Labor spokesman wasn't immediately available to confirm that.
The waiter and other employees were speaking with an attorney about their options, he said.
The waiter called the Germanottas, who live two blocks from Vince and Eddie's, a "courteous" family, and added that "they've always been kind to us."
Lady Gaga's spokeswoman could not be reached immediately for comment on Monday morning.
Digiuseppe told W magazine last fall that when Gaga visited the restaurant in scantily-clad "get-ups," he would invite her to sit with him in a back room instead of at the bar in front.
Digiuseppe told DNAinfo before the restaurant closed that fans would sometimes call the restaurant — on the telephone, naturally — and ask if Gaga was there.
Digiuseppe said he made it a point to never to reveal that information.
"Even if she was here, I wouldn't tell them," Digiuseppe said. "Does she eat here once in a while, yes. Does it matter to me? No."
Digiuseppe said Gaga's connection to the restaurant hadn't affected business, for better or worse.