NEW YORK - As the sun sets on Coney Island, a 19-year institution on the boardwalk may also be going dark... but for good.
“I feel so betrayed by my neighbors,” said Diana Carlin, who now goes by Lola Star, which is the namesake of her gift shop. She put out a plea on social media this week saying her lease is up this weekend and if she wants to renew, rent would increase 400%.
“We have not reached an agreement. We are just stuck,” said Lola.
“The store has such character, much like coney island and to lose that character and just put up probably another building it just doesn’t make sense,” said Catherine Lindeman, a loyal Lola Star customer
Lola Star is located on a part of the boardwalk that belongs to the company Central Amusement International, which is her landlord responsible for raising the rent. Anthony Scala, who lives nearby and frequents the boardwalk, is disappointed to see small businesses struggling.
“it’s a wonderful shop and Lola has been committed here for so many years,” he said.
The landlord which is the company that runs Luna Park tells us it hasn’t increased Lola Star’s rent for almost ten years and that Lola Star’s lease rate is significantly lower than neighboring tenants.
“We didn’t have any rent increase during that time because I was with them under contract. I have 7 feet of frontage. There is no other business in Coney Island with that small amount of frontage,” Lola responses.
Unless the landlord has a last minute change of heart, Lola Star won’t be open in Coney Island once the season starts back up in a few months.