Juliano’s Espresso Bar, located at 1378 Lexington Avenue on the corner of East 91st Street, is now closed following an eviction notice issued on May 9.
Our Town reports that Frank Lobosco, the owner of the 31-year-old business, is currently fighting the eviction. He asked for an interim motion to stay the eviction and was denied. Then, he got the matter to go before New York Supreme Court’s 1st Division Appellate Court on Monday, May 29. According to Our Town, deliberation could continue for four to six weeks.
The initial court request for a judgment of eviction was entered on June 15, 2022 and granted by the courts on September 6, 2022, when they declared that Juliano’s owed the property owner, Bremen House Inc., a total of $144,093.80 in unpaid rent.
Lobosco believes that his lease, which expired in 2020, was supposed to have been renewed for another five years as part of a mortgage refinancing loan (called an estoppel agreement) and his lease appears to lend credence to that belief. However, “It is unclear if this strategy can overcome his record of owed rent totaling nearly $150,000,” writes Our Town. “If he succeeds, Juliano’s would ostensibly be back in business until at least 2025.”
This is not the first time that Frank has been taken to court, as we discovered he was sued in 2015 by a longtime employee claiming unpaid wages.
We’ve made numerous attempts to contact Frank for comment. He did answer the store phone on Tuesday, but claimed he was waiting for another call, and to call back in an hour. We did, but he never picked up.
We went to the store on Thursday and it was gated up with nothing but the word “closed” on a blue piece of tape.
We ended up talking with two women who said they knew Frank and that the case against him was wrong, believing that his lease should have been renewed and that the landlord was trying to steal from him. They said he would call us back but we’ve heard nothing.