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Fort Lee's GW Grill Steps Up For Leonia Reunion After Bicycle Club Closes

Donald Sposa
Donald Sposa Photo Credit: Melissa Heule
The owners evicted the Bicycle Club operators for non-payment of rent.
The owners evicted the Bicycle Club operators for non-payment of rent. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule
Notice posted on front door of the Bicycle Club.
Notice posted on front door of the Bicycle Club. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule
Nicole Pagnozzi
Nicole Pagnozzi Photo Credit: FACEBOOK photo
Donald Sposa reached out to help Pagnozzi.
Donald Sposa reached out to help Pagnozzi. Photo Credit: Melissa Huele

LEONIA, N.J. -- Things looked bleak for Nicole Pagnozzi when she found herself without a venue -- or her $1,400 deposit -- for the Nov. 14 Leonia High School's Class of 1995 reunion after The Bicycle Club in Englewood Cliffs suddenly closed.

Then Donald Sposa, co-owner of the GWB Grill in Fort Lee, came to her rescue.

The Bicycle Club's owners had the Sylvan Avenue eatery officially shut down on Nov. 5 for non-payment of rent.

LeConte Realty "was taking care of the taxes on the property and other costs, but the rent wasn't being paid" by EJ Eatery Corp, a source with direct knowledge of the situation told Daily Voice. "So LeConte evicted them."

Pagnozzi, of Edgewater, said the sudden shutdown left her "sick and crying."

"I'm a single mom of two kids -- one with special needs," she said. "The guy should have never taken my money."

When he heard what happened, Sposa got on the phone.

"I reached out to Nicki's father. He did all the plumbing in my building," Sposa told Daily Voice. "I told him: 'Bring 'em in'."

GW Grill -- on Hudson Terrace, right next to the bridge that it's named for -- accommodated a party of 80 on Nov. 7 that had an event scheduled at the Bicycle Club.

"It's the least we can do," said Sposa, the former owner of Fort Lee's popular Clams Casino restaurant.

"They've been really, really great and are working with me to make sure that I have the best party possible," Pagnozzi said. "We're getting more for the money, in fact."

The Leonia native sees little chance of recovering the deposit, but her dad is going to try.

At the same time, she's hopeful that alumni who didn't book in advance will show up the night of the event.

The party begins at 8. Cash and credit card only.

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