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Sony Building Plans Ruining Slice Sales, Friendships, Leases

The sale of Madison Avenue's Sony Building to Joseph Chetrit earlier this year has pitted tenant against landlord, friend against friend, and pizza against 24-hour room service. The Times has all the details of what seemed to be a relatively simple $1.1 billion building sale. The basics: Sony, which holds the lease for Pizza da Solo in the building's atrium, attempted to evict pizzeria owner Joseph Allaham (who also owns Solo, the Italian restaurant next door). Sony argues that the pizzeria is a violation of the lease terms because the atrium was only supposed to be a waiting area for the restaurant, not a whole other food purveyor. And then there's the fact that Allaham also owns Prime Grill a few blocks away, and that Sony alleges the two restaurants are competing for customers.

Allaham, for his part, claims that Sony employees helped him install his pizza oven?and that Chetrit wants to evict the pizzeria because he plans to turn the building into a hotel-condo tower. Drama! It's all made even more dramatic by the fact that Allaham and Chetrit are (were?) friends. Chetrit went to Allaham's wedding and then threw Allaham a celebratory party, and the two families later vacationed together. We hope they had fun, because they probably won't be repeating the experience any time soon.
· Sony Wants Pizzeria Out of Building in Midtown [NYT]
· Sony Building coverage [Curbed]