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Lady Gaga’s dad blames homeless for hurting business in Grand Central

Ann Schmidt

Lady Gaga’s dad has said that the homeless population in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal is hurting his restaurant, so he has refused to pay rent, according to one report.

Joe Germanotta first opened Art Bird & Whiskey Bar in the food court in Grand Central in 2018, but he told The New York Post that homeless people in terminal have cut his business by 30 percent.

“The homeless go in there to stay warm. We’re compassionate, but it affects our customers,” Germanotta told The Post. “When the homeless invade our areas, it becomes a less attractive place.”

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According to the tabloid, Germanotta complained of other issues too, including outdated seating and facilities, poorly maintained restrooms and a problem with rodents.

To fight those concerns, Germanotta has reportedly refused to pay rent and other fees to the MTA.

Earlier this week, the MTA sent him a letter saying he owed $260,000 to the agency and if he didn’t pay the fee within two weeks, it would begin the process of evicting Germanotta’s restaurant, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The MTA did not immediately return FOX Business's request for comment.

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However, he told the newspaper that if the MTA did evict him, he would “demand” the organization to repay him the $1.5 million for his investment in the restaurant as well as the loss of business.

“I don’t think they were prepared [to manage the space],” he told The Post. “Quite frankly, I think they’re more interested in running the trains.”

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Despite Germanotta’s complaints of lost business, the MTA has said that sales across the food court increased 6.3 percent in 2019, The Journal reported.

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“This is a landlord-tenant dispute, pure and simple, in which the landlord seeks to blame his financial struggles on anyone but himself," MTA spokesman Tim Minton told The Post. “The fact that Mr. Germanotta does not appreciate someone who is less fortunate having a cup of coffee near his business is not the problem of the people of the state of New York, who don’t expect to have to subsidize his struggling business,” Minton added.

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