Milk Street Cafe owner blames layoffs on barricades set up for Occupy Wall Street

Barricades restricting pedestrian traffic to narrow sidewalks have been in place since the Occupy Wall Street movement began in September.

Could police barricades set up to control Occupy Wall Street crowds be to blame for 21 people losing their jobs at the Milk Street Cafe? That’s owner Mark Epstein’s story and he’s sticking to it.

Epstein, who chose the Wall Street location because of heavy pedestrian traffic, said business had been steadily increasing since he opened the eatery in June. A few weeks after the protest began in September, though, he said everything changed.

“All of the sudden, everything went whacky and these barricades went up,” Epstein told Metro. “And every week, it started to impact business more and more.”

Epstein said sales took such a nose-dive in recent weeks that he was forced to eliminate an entire shift of workers and change his closing time from 9 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. during the week.

“I blame it on three groups,” Epstein explained. “Protesters, city officials and police. The barricades are it.”

Many people who work or live in the financial district have complained about the barricades set up by police on Wall Street, which have led to cramped and crowded sidewalks. In the early weeks of the protest, police also temporarily closed several subway entrances in the area.

Epstein said he believes those routine hassles caused people to avoid Wall Street, leading to the sharp decline in sales at the Milk Street Cafe. When asked whether he could bring those 21 laid off employees back to work if the barricades are removed, Epstein said he isn’t sure.

“Nothing would make me happier. It depends on the business coming back,” he said.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Two young children killed in deadly Queens fire

Two 4-year-old children died after a blaze at their Far Rockaway home on Saturday night. The Queens fire injured three others, including a third sibling.

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Television

'Orphan Black' recap: Episode 1, ‘Nature Under Constraint…

Welcome to your first Season 2 “Orphan Black” recap! Hopefully Tatiana Maslany can help Tatiana Maslany get through this, with the help of Tatiana Maslany,…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

NBA

Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Parenting

Is camp right for introverts?

We ask an expert for tips on sending your introverted child to camp

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.