Papaya King settles with landlord at Extell dev site

Famous frankfurter stand relocating after bizarre East 86th Street drama

Extell Development’s Gary Barnett and 179 East 86th Street (Google Maps, Extell Development, Getty)
Extell Development’s Gary Barnett and 179 East 86th Street (Google Maps, Extell Development, Getty)

After some frank discussions, Papaya King and its former Upper East Side landlord have ended their fight at a Gary Barnett development site.

The famous hot dog stand and Imperial Sterling this month settled their long-running legal dispute over rent payments at the shop’s former location, 179 East 86th Street, court records show.

The settlement wraps up a court battle that commenced in 2020 when Imperial Sterling accused Papaya King’s management company Grab & Go Convenience of breaking in and reopening the shop without permission after its lease was terminated for unpaid rent of more than $122,000.

Barnett’s Extell Development bought the one-story, 5,000-square-foot property in 2021 and filed plans last year to demolish it. The developer took over the case and claimed that Sid Sohail’s Grab & Go refused to depart the building despite being offered money to vacate.

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An attorney for Grab & Go claimed that Imperial Sterling didn’t have the right to sell the building because the landlord only had a 50 percent stake in the property.

Extell was entitled to take back the ground-floor space and evict Papaya King as soon as April 3, but the hot dog stand officially closed its doors on March 31, the New York Post reported.

Papaya King is expected to move across the street to 1535 Third Avenue, reported, after closing its 90-year-old flagship. The opening date of the new stand, in space formerly occupied by Modell’s Sporting Goods, has not been determined.

Extell’s plans for the site remain unknown, but Barnett’s firm has been active on the Upper East Side. Its luxury condominium projects include the 83-unit Kent at 200 East 95th Street, the Lucida at 151 East 85th Street, the 11-unit 1010 Park Avenue, the 26-unit 995 Fifth Avenue, 330 East 72nd Street and the 68-unit Carlton House at 21 East 61st Street.

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