NEW YORK, Nov. 28 (UPI) -- Lawyers for a New York restaurant say an agent for the landlord banned it from advertising that former Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera was a part owner.
In a lawsuit filed in Manhattan, Manhattan Sports Restaurants of America accused Susanne Lieu, managing agent for One Dag Corp., of sabotaging the restaurant, Siro's, the New York Daily News reported. The lawyers say Lieu told restaurant managers that publicizing Rivera's connection to Siro's would attract "ghetto people" from The Bronx.
Rivera played 19 years for the Yankees before retiring after the 2013 season.
The restaurant leased the space in 2011 and created a space with a baseball clubhouse theme but Lieu banned Siro's from showing sports events on its televisions, the lawyers said.
"Customers are watching a basketball game at the bar. She comes in and says 'you're not allowed to watch sports' and made them change the channel," lawyer David Jaroslawicz said. "It killed us."
She allegedly told the eatery that two black employees should be kept off the patio and Asian-themed food should not be served.
Lieu believed having Asian Indian patrons "would not fit in with defendant's idea of what the building's image should be like," the lawyers said. Her interference allegedly led to the restaurant's closing.
Lieu's lawyers called the suit "baseless and defamatory." They said the owners of the restaurant were trying to divert attention from their own failures.