#deBlasiosNewYork: Legendary Astor Place Newsstand Back In Business

Jerry Delakas, longtime newsstand operator. (via Save Jerry's Newsstand Facebook page)

Jerry Delakas, longtime newsstand operator. (via Save Jerry’s Newsstand Facebook page)

Finally some good news for a East Village newspaper vendor.

Jerry Delakas, Astor Place’s beloved newsstand operator, will be allowed to return to his stand after a three-year battle with city officials. Mr. Delakas, 64, saw his stand shuttered last month after officials denied his appeals for a business license. But a January 5 meeting with Mayor de Blasio may have given Mr. Delakas the edge: this Friday the Department of Consumer Affairs agreed to grant Mr. Delakas a license for newsstand he has operated for 26 years, DNAinfo reports.

Mr. Delakas has been a fixture of the neighborhood since 1987, when he began running a newsstand owned by his friend Katherine Ashley. In her will, Ms. Ashley named Mr. Delakas to inherit the newsstand. But following the deaths of Katherine and her husband  Sheldon (in 2006 and 2010, respectively), city officials ruled the arrangement invalid. Mr. Delakas continued operating the stand, while he filed — and was rejected — for an official license.

Mr. Delakas finally saw a change in fortune when obtained a ticket to Mayor de Blasio’s open house at Gracie Mansion and presented the mayor with a cardboard model of his newsstand. Mayor de Blasio reportedly called Mr. Delakas’ situation a “great injustice” and instructed aides to “get on it immediately“.

A little help from the top can go a long way. Mr. Delakas hopes to reopen his stand by Wednesday at the latest. He owes the city a $9,000 fine for operating a business without a license.