John McGillion has owned LuLu's in Greenpoint since 2005 and is having a hard time scraping together a profit. He’s sunk a considerable amount of money into the bar, including adding two mezzanine levels to the space. With 10 months left on his lease, McGillion believes making LuLu's a gay establishment to capitalize on the neighborhood's growing LGBT population will help him turn the bar around. However, he’s facing a serious legal obstacle: According to a report from the New York Post, his lease forbids him from making the change.
A controversial stipulation in McGillion’s contract reads:
"The leased premises shall be used by Tenant as a restaurant and bar... It shall not be used for adult entertainment and shall not be operated as a gay or lesbian bar and/or restaurant."
McGillion is taking the case to the Brooklyn Supreme Court in an effort to invalidate the clause.
McGillion told the post he believes he would be able to do up to 50 percent more business if he was able to make LuLu's into a primarily gay establishment. He also claims that, in general, gay patrons are better customers than their straight counterparts, noting they tend not to get in fights and are “wonderful to deal with.” There has been no word from landlord Janet Berger on the reason for the stipulation in the contract.
Adam D’Arpino is the Restaurants Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @AdamDArpino.