Milk Street Cafe Closing Thursday After Struggle With NYPD Barricades


The following is from DNAinfo:

The Milk Street Cafe will close its doors for good on Thursday, after struggling for months with a loss of business due to police barricades that appeared on Wall Street during the protests this fall.

The international kosher food hall at 40 Wall St. saw its sales plummet by 30 percent after the Occupy Wall Street protests started in September, largely because of the metal barricades the NYPD used to cordon off large sections of the street and sidewalk, the owner said.

Even after the protesters were evicted from Zuccotti Park, many of the barricades on Wall Street remained in place, and owner Marc Epstein said two weeks ago that he was on the verge of closing the 23,000-square-foot restaurant.

A Milk Street Cafe spokeswoman confirmed the planned closure at the end of business Thursday, first reported by the Daily News, but did not immediately comment further.

Epstein did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday afternoon.

In an interview two weeks ago, Epstein said he was frustrated that city officials had not been more responsive to Milk Street’s plight, especially when he begged them to remove the rest of the barricades from Wall Street.

“If I have come away with anything, it is that this is not a place that is conducive to small business,” Epstein said two weeks ago.

At the height of the protests in late October, Epstein laid off 21 workers and cut back the cafe’s hours in an attempt to stem the loss of money.

But earlier this month the restaurant was still losing $2,000 to $4,000 a day, and Epstein said it would take a “Hail Mary” to keep his doors open.

Between loans and investments, Epstein and his partners put about $4 million into launching the Milk Street Cafe. At the opening ceremony in June, former Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith praised Epstein and his wife Beth for bringing much-needed jobs to Lower Manhattan.

This Milk Street Cafe was an offshoot of the original Milk Street Cafe restaurant and catering hall in Boston, which the Epsteins opened 30 years ago.

(Source: DNA Info)


  1. this is terrible news. it has a domino effect too.
    milk street cafe was donating food to a met council food pantry. now they will not be open and they wont be able to donate. now the pantry has less food coming in. now those who need food will have less opportunity to receive it.
    great job those protesters did. they now have more people unemployed thanks to THEIR selfishness.

  2. I’m really sad and sorry to see them go. They were a very unique type of restaurant and brought character to the kosher food “scene”. It’s a real loss for New York. The food was great.
    I wish them much hatzlacha in any and all future endeavors.

  3. The Mayor of New York is a jerk for letting this closure happen. If the mayor cared about small business he would have directed the NYPD to remove the barricades from the area so business owners can go on with their life. The only criticism I have for the owner is he should have given money to the Bloomberg campaign and befriend the mayor and kiss up to him. The Mayor has a tendency to take care of his friends in need.

  4. musicoutlet
    Yeah as if Bloomy cares…
    This should never have been allowed to happen. I feel terrible for this person. May he only have Hatzlacha from this day forward.

  5. Barricades shmarricades!! Let’s be real! The barricades reason is just an excuse to save face. This enterprise was doomed from its initiation. Very few kosher restaurants are successful in downtown Manhattan & this particular place had a ridiculously bloated overhead. Even though they were going after the non-kosher crowd, bottom line they were more expensive then most non-kosher places around them & it doesn’t work. You wanna sell kosher food downtown? Find cheap rent & keep your overhead as low as possible (like a mom & pop shop)

  6. Yesterday on Fox News Cavuto interview one of the protesters
    block Portland’s port. She was so far out of reality it was pathetic. They were protesting because one of the banking house has a majority share in one of the port handlers. They closed down the whole part. She kept saying they were all the unions and drivers were for the protesters; and yet confront proved nothing. Mean while truck drivers are loosing money and all the other port workers because of their nonsense. They should be arrested and held criminally and financially responsible for people lost income.

  7. The landlord of Milk Street Cafe is, I believe, Donald Trump. Does anyone want to hear from him about why he could not work out some financial relief for his tenant? How about a TV show about a small business crushed by the rent on the space needed for the business?