Reporting Stan Brooks
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A fight between the owner of a trendy Tribeca eatery and neighbors is heating up.
Genaro Morales, owner of Sazon on Reade Street, says he is the victim of racism.
Morales has filed a lawsuit in federal court charging that the city, the State Liquor Authority and Community Board 1 are discriminating against his restaurant because it serves Puerto Rican food and attracts Latino customers from outside the neighborhood.
Morales claims he has been treated unfairly ever since he opened the restaurant.
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“I did everything I possibly could, I’ve hired security to make sure that patrons keep the noise level down, I have signs that state please be courteous to our neighbors, do not double park your cars,” Morales said. “Still to no avail the community is not content.”
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Morales was recently denied requests to open a bar in his downstairs lounge and to stay open until 4 a.m. on weekends.
“To have nothing but heartache for the two years that we’ve been open it’s just amazing that discrimination still exists,” Morales said.
A Community Board member said the restaurant has been a “bad neighbor,” is “irresponsible to the community” and has violated agreed upon conditions.
Whose side are you on? Sound off below…