NYC Landlord Bars Tenant From Opening Gay Bar

4.20.2014

By Neal Broverman

A Brooklyn bar owner is suing his landlord over a stipulation in his lease that bans him from operating a gay or lesbian establishment.

New York bar owner John McGillion has been operating LuLu's a bar in Greenpoint, Brooklyn for nearly a decade, but failing to turn a profit. McGillion wants to transform LuLu's into an LGBT watering hole, but his landlord has a specific stipulation banning him from doing just that.

"The Leased premises shall be used by Tenant as a restaurant and bar," the lease reads. "It shall not be used for adult entertainment and shall not be operated as a gay or lesbian bar and/or restaurant."

McGillion is now suing the landlord, Janet Berger of Manhasset, N.Y., over the lease terms.“I am barely scraping by on the proceeds of the bar . . . If I am permitted to operate a gay bar at the premises I believe that I will be able to make a considerable profit,” McGillion claimed in Brooklyn Supreme Court papers filed last week, according to the New York Post.

It's not clear why the landlord objects to a gay bar — Berger didn't return a request for comment from the Post  but McGillion says gay and lesbian customers are ideal patrons for his bar.

“They do well because you don’t have issues of fighting,” he told the newspaper. “They’re nice people, they’re wonderful to deal with. It’s easier. Typically you don’t have to offer food.”

 

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