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Milk Street Cafe Closes After Losing Business During Occupy Wall Street Protests

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Six months after opening a popular eatery on Wall Street, the owner is closing its doors for good on Thursday.

Marc Epstein said that when he opened the Milk Street Café, business was booming but then came Occupy Wall Street and precautions by the police department.

Barricades showed up here on Sept. 17 and it’s now week number 12,” Epstein said.

1010 WINS’ Gary Baumgarten with Marc Epstein

Epstein said he asked police to remove barricades after OWS was evicted from Zuccotti Park but they wouldn’t.

Last month, Epstein was forced to let 21 employees go and cut the store’s hours, closing at 3 p.m. instead of 9 p.m.

In June, he opened the New York branch of the Boston shop, which has a 30 year history. Epstein says he leased the space on Wall Street because it was next to a pedestrian plaza – and his was the only restaurant along that plaza.

However, Epstein said OWS destroyed pedestrian traffic turning Wall Street into “a desolate, police-controlled area.”

Loyal customers are saddened by Epstein’s decision to call it quits.

”Occupy Wall Street is fighting because people are unemployed and people don’t have jobs,” one woman said. “This place had to cut their workforce and now they’re closing down. So, what has it accomplished?” one woman said.

Are you sad to see the store go? Let us know below…

Comments

One Comment

  1. wounded_defecators (project) says:

    > Liberal, neo-conservative, useful idiots and critics of Assembly, and frankly haters of truth and freedom, exist by feeding on the entrepreneurial, middle class.
    Which explains why the nation’s respect and admiration are with Occupy and with the Anonymous, Wikileaks and Ruckus brigades. Thank you heroes for all of your service, and a big hoo-rah on the Defecator udda Year award.
    For they know, proletariat’s bad children and parasites, sic Zionist apparachiks of the Fed, IMF and World Bank, will never admonish the Crony Capitalism feeding their addictions and narcissism. A special interest needful and earnest of all the hearty, steamy excrement patriots can provide. Sh!t and p!ss on, noble flea-baggers, lest the streets flow with blood.

  2. say what? says:

    this page is a joke, everyone talking smack, the only person that knows is the owner and the bank.

    1. wounded_defecators (project) says:

      Liberal, neo-conservative, useful idiots and critics of Assembly, and frankly haters of truth and freedom, exist by feeding on the entrepreneurial, middle class.
      Which explains why the nation’s respect and admiration are with Occupy and with the Anonymous, Wikileaks and Ruckus brigades. Thank you heroes for all of your service, and a big hoo-rah on the Defecator udda Year award.
      For they know, proletariat’s bad children and parasites, sic Zionist apparachiks of the Fed, IMF and World Bank, will never admonish the Crony Capitalism feeding their addictions and narcissism. A special interest needful and earnest of all the hearty, steamy excrement patriots can provide. Sh!t and p!ss on, noble flea-baggers, lest the streets flow with blood.

  3. Velvet Knight says:

    Way to present only one side of the story. Pretty misleading headline too. If it was being honest, it would at least read, “Milk Street Cafe owner blames protester for failed business.”

    In reality, even reading the owner’s account above it’s pretty clear that the protest itself had nothing to do with it. He was blocks away, and the police left the barricades up even after the tents were cleared despite his specific request to remove them.

    More importantly however is the fact that HE’S LYING. That particular block he’s on (which I know VERY well) was barely affected by the barricades. And the amount of pedestrian traffic there is insane. Not to mention that this could be cleared up even faster by simply looking at the reviews on Yelp.com. The restaurant has 2 stars, and the only reason it’s that high is because there’s a handful of reviews from either before (!) or on the day it opened. Basically everyone else shredded them.

    So really what we have is a crappy restaurant that failed, and an owner who is taking it out on people who clearly had nothing to do with it. And a whole lot of people buying his BS as if it was gospel.

  4. Chris says:

    Thanks for reporting that the cops ruined the business, not the occupiers.

  5. Mark Ponemon says:

    It’s great to blame something other than yourself for your business failure. It is sad though to see anybody’s business fail. Hard work, sweat and tears go into it however, the novelty of the place wore off very quickly. I went their during the summer but I haven’t been back and its not because of the OWS either.

  6. absolute1 says:

    Wow – such a RACIST! Indeed.
    Invalidates your comment.
    Bye bye.

  7. CityBoy says:

    WAY TO GO SELFISH, ENTITLED, ARROGANT UNIONS + OWS!!!
    Close businesses, get people fired, block ports, put more jobs at risk – you spoiled RATS are so misguided…and some of you even GOT JOBS ON WALL ST. even
    though you PRETEND to be so against it. WHAT A JOKE. SHUT UP AND MOVE ON.

    Pull your heads out of your rears and think for a second – you’ve just taken someone’s life savings and hard work and destroyed it. And you’ve taken 21 people out of jobs (people with families) and ruined them, too. F. U.!

    1. Jeff Sayin says:

      You are part of the problem. Have nothing constructive to add – just vindictive sult. Please crawl back under your rock now.

    2. Very conservative says:

      “Taken 21 people out of jobs”?. Who? ILLEGAL aliens working at $2/hr to pad your pockets?

  8. blizznetwork says:

    Reblogged this on .

  9. None Of Your Business says:

    My suspicion is this restaurant had exorbitant rent and charged exorbitant prices, was losing money and was going to close anyway. However, I doubt the birdbrain Occupy Wall Street crowd helped matters. They no doubt hastened the inevitable. Can we please get rid of the OWS idiots? I’m so fed up with them. They contribute nothing. They are not going to make Wall Street change its ways and share the wealth by stinking and polluting in a park for weeks and weeks. Legislation changes Wall Street.

    1. Jeff Sayin says:

      You have the right not to listen to OWS but I find your desire to silence those you apparently disagree with disturbing.

      Fact is they have changed the nature of the dialogue about problems in our society whether you want to admit it or not.

      1. RealFacts says:

        Oh please – the data, police reports, personal interviews – OWS ARE NOT SUFFERING, ARE NOT VICTIMS, ARE NOT ANYTHING THEY PRETEND TO BE. They are PAID voice pieces for Unions (CROOKS) and the lazy, spoiled, self-entitled.

        1. Jeff Sayin says:

          “RealFacts” – you know not of what you type and insults do not impress me.

          1. richiedoowop says:

            40 Wall St is 4 blocks from Zucotti Park and Wall St has been closed to traffic and had barricades since 9/11 so I think this guy is just using OWS as an excuse for a business that was going bad anyway.

      2. say what? says:

        The only dialogue that they have changed is on the liberal democrat side, they cheer for them like they’re the second coming, all they are is a bunch of dead beats looking for handouts, because their parents couldn’t tell them no when they were children, maybe if they didn’t screw with everyone else’s life with rape, drugs, theft, and ignorance they might have gotten more people behind that cause. oh and by the way your trying to disagree and silence also, what a hypocrite. practice what you preach.

  10. Outraged Citizen says:

    OWS has gained NOTHING…….now this wonderful restaurant had to close their business and many people are now out of a job.
    OWS should be ashamed of themselves………we lost a wonderful, friendly restaurant.

    Hey, I’ve got an idea for you OWS people….shut up and go get a job!!! You are hurting the hard-working citizens!!!

    1. DaEmph says:

      The hell you mean they gained nothing, they put a business OUT of business. That sounds like an impact to me.

  11. Guy who once saw Lyle Alzado at Newark Airport says:

    Yesterday when I got home from work, then taking of my shoes (obviously as many do), my socks were damp. Didn’t have any clean ones. UGGH! HAD TO CHANGE TO DIRTY (BUT DRY ONES). UGGH!

    …Well everybody, just now took CLEAN ones out of the DRYer. AHHHH!

  12. DianeD says:

    He should sue the mayor for taking OWS free speech rights over business owner’s rights….I am all for free speech and it is a wonderful privilege to live in a country that enforces that freedom for its people, but I think OWS went on way too long and it is obvious how dentrimental it was to ths business owner. He should attend the names of those 400 people who got arrested and recently had a Court appearance and bring a class action suit against them for detroying his business.

    1. Jeff Sayin says:

      Bloomberg and his militant NYPD have used people exercising their consittutional rights as an EXCUSE to create a police state with barricades everywhere and SWAT teams telling people where they can walk on public streets.

      Because it is human nature to avoid areas that feel like a police state, this particular business lost business. Blaming that on protesters is like blaming Al Qaeda for the TSA strip searching elderly American citizens at airports. It may make you feel better about the violations of our privacy (and constitutional rights), but it makes no logical sense.

      Be nice if CBS NEWS would recognize this once and awhile and not report this story as though the lost of this particular buiness was the fault of people exercising their free speech rights.

      1. say what? says:

        thats not free speech, it’s socialism trying to get it’s foot in the door with the help of Soros. stop watching cbs and get some books, they’re paid for to.

    2. Disgusted says:

      He should sue the OWS community for exercising their constitutional freedoms of speech and the right to assemble? You are part of the problem with America. Did you somehow miss the line in the article stating “Epstein said he asked police to remove barricades after OWS was evicted from Zuccotti Park but they wouldn’t”? Do you think he should also add the police to this class action lawsuit you’re suggesting?

      1. legitcrit says:

        What a joke – OWS has baited and bullied and pushed to confront every step of the way. They are by no stretch of the imagination victims or legit. The “right” to gather doesn’t mean the “right” to destroy property, the “right” to harass, the “right” to prohibit entry, the “right” to abuse, the “right” to create insufferable living conditions for people who live in a neighborhood.

  13. A former customer says:

    The story is true. It was the nicest looking sit down lunch restaurant
    in the Wall Street area and had the best food. The restaurant was huge with different serving areas having their own menus. Before the Occupiers came,
    the place was full with customers. With the Occupiers around the place turned
    half empty. I am sorry to see such a nice restaurant go.

  14. F. Allfacists says:

    Is your name Adolph by any chance and are you in the residential-concentration-camp business?

    1. Maxine Rocks says:

      What difference does it make what his name is? The fact is OWS caused this business to fail with their garbage. If their message is about jobs, they just cost a lot of people theirs – will they now compensate all the employees who just lost THEIR jobs because they decided to squat in a park and create havoc? OWS received $500,000.00 in ‘contributions’ – who’s minding that mint? And then they had the nerve to complain about the homeless ‘infiltrating them and eating their food’! They should have been evicted sooner!!

      1. Schmellma Tookuss says:

        Wanna smell my ass? It has healing properties, or so I’m told.

  15. Kildee Authorities says:

    This place should have been shut down long ago. The milk was hot and the coffee cold. And the doughnuts were so bad, even the police refused to eat them, even for free!!!

  16. LIZ says:

    this dump isnt closing due to those idiots…..he is just using them as an excuse, his prices are outragous and quality sucks….seriously now

  17. Goldman Sachs AVP says:

    I got my bagel and coffee there every morning. I’ll miss that place.

    1. Jimmy D'Lox says:

      You can afford to buy a bagel and coffee every morning? Gee, got any jobs available!? ……………………… I did not think so.

  18. MIKE says:

    OH PLEASE THIS FRIGGIN RESTAURANT WAS GOIN CLOSE ANYWAY, DONT BLAME IT ON THE OCCUPIERS!!! LOOKING FOR SYMPATHY!!

    START OVER YOU LOSER!

    1. please..... says:

      …don’t yell at us.

    2. Siggy says:

      I kind of agree with you Mike. 90% of restaurants fail in NYC within 1st year.
      I doubt that we are getting the full story.

  19. this is very, very sad... says:

    …especially since i just went by that area a few days ago and saw only a few protesters still out there.

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