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Beloved New York bar wins reprieve from wrecking ball

By Laila Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Owners of the 77-year-old Subway Inn, a New York bar where celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio once mingled, won a court order on Tuesday temporarily blocking their imminent eviction from the site, the business said.

The reprieve for the family-owned bar on Manhattan's Upper East Side, a day before it was set to be closed, comes as a rising number of long-established New York businesses have been forced to make way for high-end residences or chain stores able to afford the city's soaring property costs.

"We know that this is just the first step in a very long and hard David vs Goliath Fight," Subway Inn co-owner Steven Salinas said in a statement. "However, we are confident that in the end justice prevails and the Subway Inn will be spared from the wrecking ball."

Subway Inn had been slated to close by Wednesday. Developers plan to tear down the low-rise building that houses it and build luxury condominiums, the bar's owners have said.

The restraining order issued by the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan gives the business seven more days to prepare its case to have its eviction thrown out, Subway Inn attorney Claude Castro said.

The bar's landlord, World-Wide Holdings Corp, declined to comment on the court order.

In a statement issued last week, World-Wide said Subway Inn had been aware of the redevelopment plan for eight years.

"The bar's closing should not come as a surprise," it said.

(Reporting by Laila Kearney; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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