Big Nick’s Burger & Pizza Joint closes forever today.
Sunday, July 28, 2013. Mark it down, because someday it could be known as the day the Upper West Side changed forever.
The restaurant on 77th and Broadway has been around for 51 years, but recently the owners of the Hotel Belleclaire upped Nick’s rent to $60,000 per month from $42,000 after the building’s property taxes were raised. As owner Nick Imirziades told us, there’s no way to pay $60,000 when you’re selling burgers and pizza. (The Big Nick’s on 71st street is no longer owned by Nick Imirziades, so the one on 77th is the last of his restaurants.)
Big Nick’s facebook page hadn’t yet announced the news as of Sunday morning. He wrote on Saturday: “When in doubt, have a burger.”
Update: Nick says he’ll be open until 4 a.m. Monday. He also told us today that he’s looking to open a new place between West 96th and 100th, but won’t know for sure for a couple of months.
An employee tells us the space will become a bank, although that’s not confirmed. It would, of course, be completely unsurprising.
As one reader wrote to us:
“I first went to Big Nick’s 34 years ago, for my sister’s 15th birthday. (We were seeing a show across the street.) I’ve been going back ever since. Moved to the Upper West Side 20 years ago and have never lived more than 6 blocks from Nick’s in all that time. High school, college, first jobs… Nick’s was where we’d go. My kids have grown up eating his pizza, his burgers have fueled many a late-night debate among friends (where else would you go after a night of carousing to get good grub in your stomach and prolong the night?) Nick’s is Old New York in the best possible way. The idea that they would be forced to close breaks my heart. Thank you Nick, for being such a great part of my life.”
Thanks to Zaid for the original tip. He sent it at 2:10 a.m.: “I’m at the place now and I see the decorated walls are already being cleared. I asked the guy and he says its the last day. Store shuts end of Sunday. Incredibly sad.”