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Standoff! Brick-and-mortar merchants occupy food cart sites in Bay Ridge

The Brooklyn Paper
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The simmering cold war between Bay Ridge’s food vendors and Fifth Avenue’s brick-and-mortar businesses boiled over on Monday morning when merchants occupied two prime pieces of sidewalk used by popular neighborhood gyro sellers — sparking a heated standoff that could last well into the night.

Local merchants from a new group called Save Our Streets, led by Lone Star bar owner Tony Gentile, set up folding tables on both Fifth Avenue and 86th Street at 7 am — taking over the food vendors’ spots — and sold newspapers and cookbooks. They also handed out T-shirts and literature about how food carts destroy neighborhood businesses.

But the irate vendors have vowed to reclaim their turf — escalating war for control on the busy intersection — with one food cart operator promising to circle the block until merchants break down their table and go home.

“I’m going to wait and go back as soon as they leave,” said Sammy Kassen, manager of the Middle Eastern Halal cart, which was forced to move further down the avenue in March when a pair of benches were illegally placed on his usual spot — presumably by outraged merchants.

Yet Gentile says he and his Save Our Streets members will meet Kassen’s waiting game head on and plans to stay put until the vendors leave Bay Ridge.

“I’ll be out here every night as long as I need to be until they’re gone,” said Gentile. “I pay $9,000 a month in rent — these guys don’t pay anything.”

Islam Bauiomy, who lost his longtime spot on 86th Street, complained that the food carts are constantly under attack.

“We don’t bother anyone,” Bauiomy said. “I’m here to work. I have a family and we have to eat.”

Police said they won’t remove Gentile’s folding tables because they’re legal — and some residents agreed.

“They’re not paying rent,” resident Michael Kerrigonh said of the vendors. “The hard-working people here pay rent and contribute to the community.”

The standoff is only the latest skirmish in a long-simmering feud between the two sides.

Business owners have long complained that the food carts pollute the sidewalk and attract rowdy drunks. Kassen, who pays $200 for a two-year permit allowing him to sell on the street, cried foul, claiming he and his fellow vendors have done nothing wrong.

Things got messy a few weeks after the benches were mysteriously put in: Kassen was backing into his new spot a few feet from the benches when he hit Gentile with his cart, who was blocking his path. No charges were filed and Gentile was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

Last month the manager of the 86th Street Business Improvement District refused to remove the rogue benches.

— with Will Bredderman

Reach reporter Daniel Bush at dbush@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow him at twitter.com/dan_bush.

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Reader Feedback

Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I got an even better idea for this. Instead of demanding them to be gone, just don't go to them anymore, because it's not as if anyone is pointing a gun at your head or a knife at your throat saying that you have to buy from them or get killed. These people could hardly get a job anywhere else especially because of their background. Also, their 5th amendment rights were being violated as if benches were being placed in their spots arbitrarily and they got just about no compensation nor relocation since then. Something like this should be taken to the US Supreme Court especially if their US Constitutional rights have been violated here, and I don't want to hear that it doesn't apply to them, because in reality, it does.
April 30, 2012, 3:14 pm
Tarbash from 5th avenue says:
Tal, why don't they just take one of the vacant spots between 86th and 87th on 5th avenue, rather than undercutting every other business who's on the up and up? They're also a traffic hazard selling food out of the back of their cart in the right hand turn lane, further ruining the traffic situation on an already busy area. They don't own that spot, it's not theirs. Go set up shop on 3rd avenue and see how that goes.
April 30, 2012, 3:41 pm
Bay Ridger from Bay Ridge says:
But I thought the street vendors were there LEGALLY which would mean that what the store merchants are doing is ILLEGAL. Which, I'd guess means that the merchants have to stop or they should be arrested; no? So, why aren't they arrested?
April 30, 2012, 3:45 pm
Tarbash from 5th avenue says:
Their permits may be legal but they don't give them rights to a specific area. So don't get pissed off when you come back and someone's set up shop in "your" area. Maybe if they ponied up some cash and paid rent at a vacant spot on 5th ave like say...the OTB, they wouldn't have to worry about someone taking "their" spot. However then they'd have to start charging 8 bucks for those gyros instead of 4. They'd also have to start obiding by health codes like everyone else, ALL the time, storing food at proper temperatures ALL the time. Dumping their oil down the sewer on that corner is also completely illegal.
April 30, 2012, 3:55 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Tarbash, if a bench had to be placed in their spot, they could have at least been informed or given a say about it. Instead, one was placed there as if they were just left out or considered expendable. Nevertheless, they do deserve compensation for this. BTW, their permits are not cheap, and they are required to renew them each year. As for the so-called health code violations, can you please prove where they all do this? This sounds more like you are blaming a whole group rather than just a few. I would love to see the health code violations from the merchants. As usual, when you can't compete, you have to shut down your competition, which is really anti-capitalist. There is a reason it's called the survival of the fittest.
April 30, 2012, 4:37 pm
BunnynSunny from The Hill says:
There are no food carts in Clinton Hill and Fort Greene, and everyone is happy!
April 30, 2012, 4:40 pm
John from Williamsburg says:
Who is Gentile? The article doesn't say who this person is. Shouldn't his full name appear, the same as the full name of Mr. Kassen appeared?
April 30, 2012, 4:40 pm
prillis says:
race war!
April 30, 2012, 4:55 pm
Tarbash from 5th avenue says:
Race has nothing to do with this. If Cebu opened a food cart on 5th avenue, selling shrimp cocktails for 5 bucks a piece, there would still be outrage.
April 30, 2012, 5:11 pm
al pankin from downtown says:
Tal from pleasnatville makes alot of comments...why doesn't he try to go out and run a legitimate business, have employees and pay the rent and taxes that these free loading carts don't pay..what's more the city sanitation picks up their trash for free... let them go work in one of these stores to make a living like everyone else. their carts are nothing more than a blight on the community and an eyesore...
let them go to Tal's neighborhood of "Pleasantville USA"
April 30, 2012, 5:48 pm
Chim Richilds from Bay Ridge says:
We've got to stop them from selling their delicious and fairly priced meats and falafel on our streets. Just look at what sidewalk food vendors have done to the local economy in midtown Manhattan. It's basically a ghost town. We've got to stop them from coercing scores of people into lining up around the corner morning and night for their food. I'll tell you something else. Race and religion have nothing to do with this. We as a community have railed just as hard against the destruction of the local ice cream market at the hands of that diabolical Mr. Softee and and his oddly shaped head. There is a similar uproar over the hot dog vendors and coco helado vendors, and not just because hot dogs and icey treats are 'Murican, because it's the right thing to do! We can't have local business people competing to offer different products at various price points with varying levels of amenities. It would be madness. We can't be trusted to make decisions regarding what we consume! In order to protect small business owners it is imperative we stop this small businessman in his tracks. He doesn't pay rent! It's not as though there's some legislative body, with elected officials who are accountable to the constituents who vote for them, to regulate the conduct of street vendors! The only reasonably response is to incite physical confrontation by occupying the sidewalk where this cart routinely sets up-for days at a time if need be! There is no more valuable use of our time that I can think of.
April 30, 2012, 5:52 pm
Judahspechal from Bedstuy says:
To deny anyone the opportunity to ake a living ins just wrong.
April 30, 2012, 5:56 pm
Jerry from Bay Ridge says:
This "protest" is disgusting .... and as we know, this is the part where the brick n mortar protest leaders start posting here again under a new set of anony-names.
April 30, 2012, 6:27 pm
Patrick Bateman from 5th Avenue says:
Hahaha, I love the fact that bar owners are organizing a protest to complain about there being too many rowdy drunks in the neighborhood. Yup, the cart is causing that, not the abundance of bars in Bay Ridge. Cart absorbs to booze and calms the hungry masses.
April 30, 2012, 6:49 pm
local guy from b.r. says:
I also had to laugh when bar owners complained that this alcohol-free halal cart attracted drunks. If street drunks are such a big deal we should find out what bars they're coming from and stifle THAT quality of life problem, not blame it on a felafel cart lol.
April 30, 2012, 7:20 pm
Bill from Bay ridge says:
Maybe lonestar would have more business if they cleaned their beer lines....hey gentile your beer tastes like rust!
April 30, 2012, 8:16 pm
Romney lover from Dyker says:
Chim, You hit the nail on the head. I am also infuriated when these Halal foodcart's inexpensive and tasty gyros lure me in about once every month. The $4 I spend there could have gone toward a soda and bag of potato chips at a bricks and mortar store.
April 30, 2012, 8:58 pm
Scott from Park Slope says:
Chim, you make a good point. The bar owners are not out protesting hot dog carts and the coco helado vendors, only the muslims. I wonder why that is?

Good lord every time there's a story about *gasp* change in Brooklyn or *gasp* brown people in Brooklyn all these same guys come out of the woodwork, don't they? I wish they would pack it in and move to the Jersey Shore already.
April 30, 2012, 9:24 pm
Mike says:
Even when I agree with Tal on an issue, his logic makes no sense whatsoever.
April 30, 2012, 9:29 pm
Jose from Bay Ridge says:
Haven't seen a hot dog cart on 86th Street in years. And the ice cream trucks usually drive around rather than stay parked for 14 hours at a time. Haven't seen an ice cream truck pour grease down the sewer either.

But facts are a —— when they interfere with our preconceived notions.
April 30, 2012, 10:10 pm
ty from pps says:
Look at these two pictures.... which group looks like a few decent guys and which group looks like a bunch of total douche bags?

This Tony Gentile looks like any mother's dream...
April 30, 2012, 10:24 pm
Old time brooklyn from slope says:
well they arent wearing hoods - knuckle draggers for sure- bay ridge is a racist place - i lived there and could not wait to get out - a brown guy is making more $ than a guido - so - let's see an open audit of the books - all are are on the books of course and ins vetted- typical ridge whinning puns
April 30, 2012, 11:11 pm
Elaine from Bay Ridge says:
I have a better idea. How about the building owners stop raising the rents to allow business to remain open instead of seeing all the business close because of greedy owners.
April 30, 2012, 11:53 pm
Jessica says:
These fat guys are obviously well aquainted with food - I Think we should listen to what they say.
May 1, 2012, 6:12 am
who does he think he is from save the world from food carts says:
The fat guy has too much free time.

He will tell me where to shop.

Next, he will move the mexican flower venders.
May 1, 2012, 8:20 am
Jose from Bay Ridge says:
Hey Scott and Chim,

Nobody's protesting hot dog carts because one hasn't been seen on 86th Street in years. And nobody's protesting the ice cream trucks, which do visit 86th Street (and at least one truck is owned or operated by someone named Mustapha), for several reasons. First, the trucks move, and don't park on the sidewalk for 14 hours at a stretch. Second, the trucks don't pour grease down into the sewers like the meat carts do. Third, the ice cream trucks don't foul the sidewalk with grease.

And to Old Time from Brooklyn, time for the prozac.
May 1, 2012, 10:36 am
jay from pslope says:
This is an interesting story, seems to me that the restaurant owners don't want to follow the rules and have to compete like everyone else.
They complain about having to pay taxes and act like they are some sort of martyr for following the law like everyone else, including the cart guys.
Restaurant guys, if you read this, you don't own the sidewalk and you have zero right, ZERO to be doing this to the cart guys.
So what if you pay rent, you think that makes you special? You have to compete against every other lawful business just like everyone else in the country has to, get over it, you don't have a guarantee of a free ride and no competition, if you want that, then move to Russia and pay the bribes.
They way I see it is if your restaurant can't compete with a bottom of the barrel street meat cart guy, then your restaurant sucks pretty bad and you probably should go out of business as fast as possible.
In addition, it sounds like these restaurant guys are actively preventing the lawful operation of another business and probably should be sued for tortious interference and harassment.
The benches were moved illegally as well, that is a crime and that person who did that needs to go to jail. While I don't know that the restaurant guys did it, if they did not, then who did?
So restaurant guys, to me, in my opinion, sound like either they are communists because they don't think they should have to compete with a lawful business or they are racist and have a problem with people who are not white.
Either way restaurant guys, you suck.
I won't be eating at your place but I may come to the cart guy just to stick it in your eye.
May 1, 2012, 11:27 am
Sal Monella from Bay Ridge says:
Jay, enjoy your food poisoning.

I'll eat where hands are washed and food is stored properly.
May 1, 2012, 12:11 pm
jay from pslope says:
Sal, that is kind of the point if this restaurant guy thinks a food car is a competitive threat to his business, then clearly he is not doing a good job.
I have pasted the last City Health Code inspection for the Lone Star, the restaurant in this story, which seem to validate my point.
According to the NYC Health Department Inspectors, there ARE violations about sanitation problems at the Lone Star.
I think you may want to retract your statement about who is handling food properly, unless you have some evidence that the food cart guy is not? Lets see your proof that the cart guy is not doing things right? Where is it? Where is your evidence to make such claims? Put up or shut up.
See the Lone Star violations below, if you want to see it yourself, the link to the site is
http://a816-restaurantinspection.nyc.gov/RestaurantInspection/SearchDetails.do

Violations recorded in the following area (s) at the reinspection conducted on 12/28/2011.
"Critical" violations are displayed in red.

Violation points: 13

Sanitary Violations
1) Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.
2) Accurate thermometer not provided in refrigerated or hot holding equipment.
3) Non-food contact surface improperly constructed. Unacceptable material used. Non-food contact surface or equipment improperly maintained and/or not properly sealed, raised, spaced or movable to allow accessibility for cleaning on all sides, above and underneath the unit.
4) Proper sanitization not provided for utensil ware washing operation.
May 1, 2012, 1:05 pm
jay from pslope says:
and sal here is the previous inspection results for the Lone Star.
Violations recorded in the following area (s) and a Notice of Violation issued at the initial operational cycle inspection conducted on 12/20/2011.
"Critical" violations are displayed in red.

Violation points: 27

Sanitary Violations
1) Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation.
2) Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility's food and/or non-food areas.
3) Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.
4) Facility not vermin proof. Harborage or conditions conducive to attracting vermin to the premises and/or allowing vermin to exist.
5) Food contact surface not properly maintained.
6) Proper sanitization not provided for utensil ware washing operation.

and Sal here is the Lone Stars health Inspection form 2010 YUCK!!!!

Violations recorded in the following area (s) and a Notice of Violation issued at the initial operational cycle inspection conducted on 05/10/2010.
"Critical" violations are displayed in red.

Violation points: 66

Sanitary Violations
1) Food Protection Certificate not held by supervisor of food operations.
2) Food item spoiled, adulterated, contaminated or cross-contaminated.
3) Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility's food and/or non-food areas.
4) Hand washing facility not provided in or near food preparation area and toilet room. Hot and cold running water at adequate pressure not provided at facility. Soap and an acceptable hand-drying device not provided.
5) Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.
6) Facility not vermin proof. Harborage or conditions conducive to vermin exist.
7) Non-food contact surface improperly constructed. Unacceptable material used. Non-food contact surface or equipment improperly maintained.
8) Other general violation.
May 1, 2012, 1:10 pm
Jay, you are correct says:
Let the people choose where to shop.

Some food carts are cleaner than lone star.

Tell lone star to sell from the food cart in the rain and freezing cold.
May 1, 2012, 1:29 pm
Jose from Bay Ridge says:
Resturants are inspected on a regular basis, and are obligated to correct any violations noted, prior to the next inspection. Food carts are rarely inspected. You don't see that as a problem?
May 1, 2012, 1:32 pm
Eddie Mazz from Bay Ridge says:
Thanks for the story! I was wondering what was going on! I passed by the table last night (4/30/12) just before 10pm. I asked what was going on and the guy stationed at the table said in a very "Pissed off" tone "Nothing..." Maybe it was my beard. Yo S.O.S.! Don't judge a book by it's cover! I'll be stopping by on my way home from work in the 9pm hour tonight. Well shaven, I wonder what kind of reaction I'll get.
May 1, 2012, 1:54 pm
Joe from South Brooklyn says:
Jay ... the Brooklyn Bagels owner co-heads this group. Check out inspection results for BB ... repeat higher violation points, does okay only on reinspections few wks later ... back to higher viol. points by next inspection ... mice last 2x around.
May 1, 2012, 2:28 pm
Annoyed from Bay Ridge says:
This guy really wants to save our street? Maybe he can close his bar down. I live right next to it and it blasts music until 4 am and there are drunk nutjobs fighting and screaming in the streets until 5 am because of him.

5th avenue has some problem businesses that are ruining the atmosphere, but it isn't a quiet food truck.
May 1, 2012, 4:52 pm
Sandro from Bay Ridge says:
What kind of justice and free market economy is this? Where some guys, who clearly just don't want the competition can try to shut another business down?

Is this the mob in the 50's? I'm not even trying to bring up the race issue here because I don't think it's relevant.

I am fairly new to Bay Ridge (moved in last July) and I have been to both Lone Star and the cart. While Lone Star has a very nice backyard, their beer is awful and generally the people in there are not very nice.

The guys at the cart have always been nothing but nice to me, have served me and my friends food at all hours of the day and night. They are there in the freezing cold and burning heat, generally, they are what I would call good neighbors.

Look, let's all be serious. This isn't about racism or keeping the streets quiet. It's about people trying to push competition out of business. So from here on out, I will be telling everyone I know to not go to LoneStar with their rusted beerlines and mediocre food and I invite all Bay Ridge residents to join me.
May 1, 2012, 4:52 pm
Sandro from Bay Ridge says:
What kind of justice and free market economy is this? Where some guys, who clearly just don't want the competition can try to shut another business down?

Is this the mob in the 50's? I'm not even trying to bring up the race issue here because I don't think it's relevant.

I am fairly new to Bay Ridge (moved in last July) and I have been to both Lone Star and the cart. While Lone Star has a very nice backyard, their beer is awful and generally the people in there are not very nice.

The guys at the cart have always been nothing but nice to me, have served me and my friends food at all hours of the day and night. They are there in the freezing cold and burning heat, generally, they are what I would call good neighbors.

Look, let's all be serious. This isn't about racism or keeping the streets quiet. It's about people trying to push competition out of business. So from here on out, I will be telling everyone I know to not go to LoneStar with their rusted beerlines and mediocre food and I invite all Bay Ridge residents to join me.
May 1, 2012, 4:52 pm
Sandro from Bay Ridge says:
What kind of justice and free market economy is this? Where some guys, who clearly just don't want the competition can try to shut another business down?

Is this the mob in the 50's? I'm not even trying to bring up the race issue here because I don't think it's relevant.

I am fairly new to Bay Ridge (moved in last July) and I have been to both Lone Star and the cart. While Lone Star has a very nice backyard, their beer is awful and generally the people in there are not very nice.

The guys at the cart have always been nothing but nice to me, have served me and my friends food at all hours of the day and night. They are there in the freezing cold and burning heat, generally, they are what I would call good neighbors.

Look, let's all be serious. This isn't about racism or keeping the streets quiet. It's about people trying to push competition out of business. So from here on out, I will be telling everyone I know to not go to LoneStar with their rusted beerlines and mediocre food and I invite all Bay Ridge residents to join me.
May 1, 2012, 4:52 pm
Annoyed from Bay Ridge says:
This guy really wants to save our street? Maybe he can close his bar down. I live right next to it and it blasts music until 4 am and there are drunk nutjobs fighting and screaming in the streets until 5 am because of him.

5th avenue has some problem businesses that are ruining the atmosphere, but it isn't a quiet food truck.
May 1, 2012, 4:52 pm
Sandro from Bay Ridge says:
What kind of justice and free market economy is this? Where some guys, who clearly just don't want the competition can try to shut another business down?

Is this the mob in the 50's? I'm not even trying to bring up the race issue here because I don't think it's relevant.

I am fairly new to Bay Ridge (moved in last July) and I have been to both Lone Star and the cart. While Lone Star has a very nice backyard, their beer is awful and generally the people in there are not very nice.

The guys at the cart have always been nothing but nice to me, have served me and my friends food at all hours of the day and night. They are there in the freezing cold and burning heat, generally, they are what I would call good neighbors.

Look, let's all be serious. This isn't about racism or keeping the streets quiet. It's about people trying to push competition out of business. So from here on out, I will be telling everyone I know to not go to LoneStar with their rusted beerlines and mediocre food and I invite all Bay Ridge residents to join me.
May 1, 2012, 4:52 pm
Sandro from Bay Ridge says:
What kind of justice and free market economy is this? Where some guys, who clearly just don't want the competition can try to shut another business down?

Is this the mob in the 50's? I'm not even trying to bring up the race issue here because I don't think it's relevant.

I am fairly new to Bay Ridge (moved in last July) and I have been to both Lone Star and the cart. While Lone Star has a very nice backyard, their beer is awful and generally the people in there are not very nice.

The guys at the cart have always been nothing but nice to me, have served me and my friends food at all hours of the day and night. They are there in the freezing cold and burning heat, generally, they are what I would call good neighbors.

Look, let's all be serious. This isn't about racism or keeping the streets quiet. It's about people trying to push competition out of business. So from here on out, I will be telling everyone I know to not go to LoneStar with their rusted beerlines and mediocre food and I invite all Bay Ridge residents to join me.
May 1, 2012, 4:52 pm
Sandro from Bay Ridge says:
What kind of justice and free market economy is this? Where some guys, who clearly just don't want the competition can try to shut another business down?

Is this the mob in the 50's? I'm not even trying to bring up the race issue here because I don't think it's relevant.

I am fairly new to Bay Ridge (moved in last July) and I have been to both Lone Star and the cart. While Lone Star has a very nice backyard, their beer is awful and generally the people in there are not very nice.

The guys at the cart have always been nothing but nice to me, have served me and my friends food at all hours of the day and night. They are there in the freezing cold and burning heat, generally, they are what I would call good neighbors.

Look, let's all be serious. This isn't about racism or keeping the streets quiet. It's about people trying to push competition out of business. So from here on out, I will be telling everyone I know to not go to LoneStar with their rusted beerlines and mediocre food and I invite all Bay Ridge residents to join me.
May 1, 2012, 4:52 pm
Annoyed from Bay Ridge says:
This guy really wants to save our street? Maybe he can close his bar down. I live right next to it and it blasts music until 4 am and there are drunk nutjobs fighting and screaming in the streets until 5 am because of him.

5th avenue has some problem businesses that are ruining the atmosphere, but it isn't a quiet food truck.
May 1, 2012, 4:52 pm
Annoyed from Bay Ridge says:
This guy really wants to save our street? Maybe he can close his bar down. I live right next to it and it blasts music until 4 am and there are drunk nutjobs fighting and screaming in the streets until 5 am because of him.

5th avenue has some problem businesses that are ruining the atmosphere, but it isn't a quiet food truck.
May 1, 2012, 4:52 pm
jay from pslope says:
Jose,
where is your evidence that food carts are rarely inspected? Please provide a source for your claim that food carts are rarely inspected. Where are you getting that from, or are you just making it up?
DO you have any evidence that the food cart in this story is doing anything wrong? No you don't, do you?
I am pretty sure you are just wrong because
according to the NYC Health Department they DO regularly inspect food carts.
So, unless you have some specific credible evidence to back your claim you are just wrong making things up and spewing cheap innuendo.
Here is the quote form NYC Health Dept website
"The Bureau's biggest responsibility is assuring that all food service establishments are properly permitted and operating safely. With over 26,000 food service establishments (FSE) in New York City, this is a substantial undertaking. If you eat at a restaurant, diner, delicatessen, school cafeteria, community center, mobile food vending cart or any other permitted facility or establishment that serves meals to the public, the New York City (NYC) Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's (the Department's) Bureau of Food Safety and Community Sanitation is providing regular and periodic inspections to assure the safety of what you eat."
May 1, 2012, 4:55 pm
jay from pslope says:
Again Jose below are teh violations from Lone Star in the last inspection, where are the ones from the food cart? Comeone Jose, where is your evidence, put up or shut the F&^*K up

Violations recorded in the following area (s) and a Notice of Violation issued at the initial operational cycle inspection conducted on 12/20/2011.
"Critical" violations are displayed in red.

Violation points: 27

Sanitary Violations
1) Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation.
2) Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility's food and/or non-food areas.
3) Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.
4) Facility not vermin proof. Harborage or conditions conducive to attracting vermin to the premises and/or allowing vermin to exist.
5) Food contact surface not properly maintained.
6) Proper sanitization not provided for utensil ware washing operation.
May 1, 2012, 4:58 pm
Sandro from Bay Ridge says:
My browser messed up and posted like 4 times. Sorry.
May 1, 2012, 5:02 pm
mike from bay ridge says:
Jay,

Food carts are taken to Astoria yearly for a scheduled "inspection". Plenty of time to power wash the grime off the cooking surfaces. There are zero random inspections. Please answer:

1. how does a food cart worker clean his spatula if it should fall on the floor?

2. how is food kept fresh inside the cart during the course of a 12 hour day without refrigeration?

3. where do the workers wash their hands?

Disgusting.
May 1, 2012, 5:15 pm
mike from bay ridge says:
Jay,

Food carts are taken to Astoria yearly for a scheduled "inspection". Plenty of time to power wash the grime off the cooking surfaces. There are zero random inspections. Please answer:

1. how does a food cart worker clean his spatula if it should fall on the floor?

2. how is food kept fresh inside the cart during the course of a 12 hour day without refrigeration?

3. where do the workers wash their hands?

Disgusting.
May 1, 2012, 5:15 pm
Michael from 87th & 5th says:
This all happens right outside my apartment. And you know what, Gentile is right. There are a LOT of drunken fools on the streets at night. I've seen girls get into screaming matches turning physical so they have to be pulled apart by police. Two knife fights between drunk guys, one over a parking space, the other I'm not sure. And at least 3 couples screaming at each other every week. It's ridiculous. But it isn't all happening on the corner of 86th and 5th where the food carts are...it's on 87th and 5th, directly outside The Lone Star. That is what is bringing disagreeable elements into our neighborhood. And since The Lone Star removed their front wall in favor of doors that open onto the street it has gotten far worse. The noise levels are out of control. We have had to move our baby from his nursery into the living room so he could sleep. There is nothing on this block that is worse than The Lone Star and I will support that Food Cart every day if it means they will go out of business.
May 1, 2012, 5:27 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
First off, what happened to my other comment that was posted here yesterday, because only the first one seems to show up? Getting back to the subject, I thank those that agree with me on saying how much food carts and trucks aren't a threat. If you guys really care about the merchants, then go to their places more to support them rather than just thinking that they should have no competition. Again, nobody is forcing you to go to carts, so stop acting like that. What makes any of you think that a lot of them violate health code violations? If you asked me, it's probably a few blown up to mean many when that's clearly not true. What about the health codes that many restaurants tend to break? Does anyone here get riled up from that or are they just being selective here? Bars do have a history of playing over the approved limit of how many decibels they can blast in a densely populated area with some going over the curfew. As for the sidewalks, they are public property, not private property, so the merchants can't arbitrarily decide what goes on there, and only the level of government can actually place something there.
May 1, 2012, 5:36 pm
chris from bay ridge says:
I agree that that cart has great food. But I also agree with the other vendors in the area that its unfair. I own a bar/restaurant in park slope and my rent is $10,500 a month. If a cart sold food on my block and only paid $200 for every 2 years for a permit , how is that fair? I think the cart should not go out of business or have to leave the area I think they should open up its own store like every other food place and follow same giudelines. Anyone who owns or runs a business would understand
May 1, 2012, 7:52 pm
Sal Monella from Bay Ridge says:
Jay, I agree that the Lone Star is a dump, and would not touch anything in the place except maybe a bottled beer. Doesn't make the food from the cart any more sanitary. YMMV.
May 1, 2012, 8:16 pm
Sal Monella from Bay Ridge says:
I'll take my chances with Karam on 4th Avenue. Prices are close to cart and it has a great history in neighborhood.
May 1, 2012, 8:20 pm
Jose from Bay Ridge says:
Jay, your post proved my point. You can get the inspection records for any restaurant at the DOH website. Just try to find a recent one for Sammy's cart. You won't.
May 1, 2012, 8:24 pm
Osito from Bay Ridge says:
Lone Star has disgusting food. I would never spend money there.

In contrast, the halal cart is fantastic. The chicken shwarma is amazing. I support them 100% They could double their prices and I would buy.
May 1, 2012, 8:52 pm
UPYOURSJAY from UPYOURSJAYLAND says:
UP YOURS JAY

http://www.brooklyndaily.com/stories/2012/16/br_gentilestrikesback_2012_04_20_bk.html
May 1, 2012, 9:28 pm
John from Bay Ridge says:
This is not about food or the cleanliness of the street. In fact it is simply about a few racist people, such as those in the top picture, who unfortunately still live in Bay Ridge. It is not about cleanliness since Lone Star was cited for having mice in their food facility and not cleaning their food prep area on 12/20/11. It was when they came back on 12/28/11, which likely was an announced visit, that they were able to clean their act, at least for that day!!! I say, if you provide good food people will come and you don't have to worry about the food cart. I wonder why the more reputable places in the neighborhood don't have a problem with the carts.
May 1, 2012, 10:11 pm
Lone Star sucks from Bay Ridge says:
Food carts are cleaner than nasty Lone Star.
May 1, 2012, 11:27 pm
Lone Star is the problem from Bay Ridge says:
brings drunks to the area.

music blasting till 4AM.

drugs dealing by the bathrooms.

fights
May 1, 2012, 11:30 pm
Jay from pslope says:
Mike, I would put to you the same questions for ANY restaurant, and yes food carts are required to have water.

Chris, there are different kinds of business, and to require that they have a full brick and mortar place or they should not exist is pretty silly. Guys selling beers and hot dogs at sports games don't have a brick and mortar place shall we ban them then too? Shall we ban carts and booths at the queens mall?
Alot of food cart vendors are Veterans, you want to put them out of business because you don't want to have the burden of competing against them? They are good enough to keep you free, but not good enough to compete against? The list goes on and on. Again if you don't want to compete, move to Russia and pay the bribes.

Jose, just because YOU can't find it does not mean that it can't be found. A hint though, you do actually have to know the business name or DBA running the cart.

As for upyoursjay, nice, real cleaver play on words, you must have a Phd to be so clever to make that up, or maybe you are a famous comedian since you are so sharp witted, really adds a lot to things too.
I checked your link, its to some obscure website that may or may not be credible, but what is interesting is that the LoneStar owner claims things, but that is NOT the same as actually PROVING them, we will see how that all turns out, but four points:
1) We already KNOW Lone Star is nasty, based on their health inspections.
2) The person who moved the benches in violation of the law is a criminal and should go to jail.
3) Instead of worrying about the food cart and what they are doing, maybe Lonestar should focus on cleaning up its own act and make customers happy, and then business would take care of itself.
4) By Lonestar's "Logic" if the problem with the cart is that its nasty and that is why the cart should go away, well then Lonestar is nasty, and Lonestar should go away, what is good for one is good for the other. So Lonestar, put your money where your mouth is and go out of business already.
May 2, 2012, 12:39 am
BKboy from brooklyn says:
Yes I can check restaurant inspections, but they show that most places on that cart block get crummy ratings .... they get their act together for reinspector a few weeks later .... then go back to crummy. This is good?
If they didn't tout restaurant inspections versus cart inspections, while trying to block this vendor, I wouldn't have checked and seen this.
May 2, 2012, 1:12 am
Jm from Bayridge says:
They should compromise and find a solution.
Peace!!!!
May 2, 2012, 6:44 am
Jose from Bay Ridge says:
Jay, you can't find Sammy's inspection report either. Because it doesn't exist.

This is an economic struggle between storeowners of varied ethnic backgrounds who pay through the nose to run a business in that area, and a cart operator who isn't subject to the same rules or expenses. The store owners believe that the cart operators are take advantage of everything that the BID and the location provides, access to shoppers,street cleaning,etc and add nothing positive of their own. Unless you consider litter and a down market look positives. All of the lame attempts to portray this as some sort of xenophobic struggle miss the point. This is about basic economics, and even if you disagree with the store owners, it is intellectualy dishonest to pretend that they don't have some very legitimate grievances.
May 2, 2012, 10:16 am
jay from pslope says:
No Jose, that is NOT what it is about, and again, because you can't figure out how to find a report is neither my problem, my burden of proof, or mean that is does not exist.
All that it means is that YOU are not smart enough to figure it out, and that is not the world's problem, its yours. You want to claim all sorts of things but are unable to back any of it up, and you have the stones to then claim I am being intellectual dishonest?
Furthermore, No, Lonestar does NOT have a legitimate grievance, unless you think that other people don't also have a right to make a living, and if that is the case, move to Russia.
Basically you are are arguing that one guy(Lonestar) has higher costs than the other(food cart) and because of that the guy with the lower cost should go away because its unfair.
What you are arguing is protection for an inefficient business that has a bad business model that is losing to a guy who normally would not even be in direct competition with him. Food cart is NOT the same market segment as a sit down restaurant/slash late night bar serving booze.
The communists tried your way of doing things and it did not work out so good.
If one guys business model has lower costs than the other, then its not his fault that he has the better business model, the rest of the world calls that being smarter.
And just what is Lonestar contributing that is so great to the area, drunks at 4 am? Yeah people LOOOOOVEEEE that. Real positive thing there. So you have a quite cart guy vs. a place that has drunks and street fights and may be involved in criminal activity by moving benches and you want to argue who contributes more to the area and who is causing more damage to the area? REALLY???!!!!??? Who are you kidding??!!!
If you think that Lonestar is also not taking advantage of the opportunities that do exist in the same are then you are the one who is intellectually dishonest, and if Lonestar can take advantage of those things, then why in the hell can someone else not? Its called freedom. Ever heard of it?
It is not the Cart guys fault that he figured out a way to make money with less overhead, that is called being business smart, and that is how things get done.
What this IS about is Lonestar is trying to use strong arm tactics to run lawful competition out of the neighborhood so that it can continue to be a crummy place without having to face an competition and hold a block monopoly, which is the only way Lonestar can apparently survive.
May 2, 2012, 11:56 am
DavisB from Bay Ridge says:
The community needs to shut down Lone Star. They're the source of the late-night annoyances. They're probably also the folks who illegally installed the bench.
May 2, 2012, 11:57 am
Jose from Bay Ridge says:
Jay, you're a very dense guy so I'll explain this as simply as possible. The store owners are objecting to the fact that the cart owners are a) not subject to the same frequency of stringent inspections by the DOH as they are; b) the cart guys pay only $200 a year for the right to exclusive use of a public sidewalk to sell food from, while the storeowners pay high rent (part of which goes to City real estate taxes through the landlord); c)the store owners pay fees to the BID for things like street cleaning services, while the cart guys don't (the carts do add litter though); d) the store owners pay to remove their garbage and used cooking oil, while the cart guys pour their oil down the sewer and leave their garbage at the corner for free DOS pick up; and e) the store owners get fined for any litter in front of their stores, while the cart guys, who contribute to the litter, don't. In essence this is about economics. Specifically the store owners' argument that the cart guys are effectively subsidized by the City and the BID. The City and the BID effectively subsidizing one type of business over another is not capitalism. That is why you have this dispute. Disagree with the storeowners if you want, but why don't you address the real dispute, instead of spewing nonsense? This dispute won't go away until the real underlying issues are addressed.
May 2, 2012, 12:28 pm
Mike from Bay Ridge says:
Right, "Jose", uh-huh. Poor put upon liquor and swill meisters. The last thing that bunch should have done is let a picture get printed. Putting a face on their lies and hypocrisy seals it for me.

If they've got a problem with the law they should try to CHANGE the law, not break it by illegally stealing and installing benches ("Oh! We never did that! And we don't have any idea who did! Hee-hee! And there's nothing racist about us, either! Hee-hee!") and anything else they might try. The food cart operators have every legal right to be there, and they clearly have customers or they wouldn't be there. These guys just can't step up their act to compete. Go ahead and alienate the rest of the neighborhood, that's really gonna help out.
May 2, 2012, 12:41 pm
DavisB from Bay Ridge says:
"Jose", if that's your main concern, then your problem is with the city, not the food carts. You should be lobbying your city councilperson for changes in the city regulations.

In the meantime, leave the food carts alone. They aren't doing anything illegal, unlike their opponents.
May 2, 2012, 1:17 pm
jay from pslope says:
Actually Jose I am not a dense guy at all, but nice name calling, which seems to be all you are capable of.
First carts are inspected, you keep saying that they are not subject to the same standards but submit no proof of that, but even if what you are saying is true, guess what, I can walk up to a cart and see whats going on with my own eyes, I can't however see what is going on in the kitchen of Lonestar.
If the cart is doing something I don't like the looks of, I know it before ordering and can walk away, can't do that at Lonestar. Furthermore they are not the same kind of business, so to act like they are is stupid and totally without merit.
If Lonestar thinks the cart thing is so great and so easy and so cheap then why don't they open their own food cart? Oh because they are lazy and can't compete? Is that it?
Only 200 a year for the exclusive use of a public sidewalk? Wait, didn't I see somewhere the claim that the cart does not have the right to use the space that they have been using until Lonestar decided to act like thugs?
So which is it Jose, either they have right to exclusive use of that part of the sidewalk or they don't. Which is it Jose, make up your mind you can't have it both ways.
Why is it the cart guys problem that the Lonestar has to pay rent or overpays for rent and is too stupid to get a better deal?
If that is the case then using your "logic" the cart guy should be mad at Lonestar because he had to pay actual money for his cart. That is a stupid loser argument and you should know better that to try and make it since you think you are not dense.
Oh and paying to remove their garbage? Don't think so, are they paying to remove the garbage the drunks leave all over the place in the street? Are they paying for the vomit clean up and urine on other people's property as a result of the drunks, no they are not, so if you want to talk about subsidy, the entire neighborhood is paying the price for Lonestar's business practices.
The city is not subsidizing one business over another go read the frigging tax code and the breaks that are carved into it for business, that is just nonsense.
The underlying dispute. Ha! Whatever. The underlying dispute is that Lonestar are acting like thugs, and no amount of crap you type out will change that.
So again, where is your proof that the carts are doing all these bad things you claim? Huh?
Come on Jose I've been asking for two days now, and you still have provided not a single shred of evidence. Where is it Mr not dense guy. Lets see it.
May 2, 2012, 1:57 pm
Lone Star is the problem from Bay ridge says:
Shut Down Lone Star and problem solved
May 2, 2012, 2:13 pm
Scott from Park Slope says:
It sounds like a clear-cut case of racism to me. Street carts don't compete with bars. They don't sell alcohol. And if Lone Star, a bar, is counting on food for their margins then I have to say they're doing it wrong.

No, I suspect that the root of Lone Star's complaint runs something along these lines: Lone Star's owner wanted to park his IROC-Z (or whatever they're driving these days) in the spot that the food cart is blocking; and a minor spat about that was magnified by the IROC-Z driver's deep-seated racism and he is now trying to gin this up into an "issue" about food cart licensing.

So I say to the Lone Star guys, do everybody a favor and get yourselves over to the Jersey Shore. I'm sure your aggrieved stories about how the '——s' have taken over will actually help you pick up girls there. But the rest of us in Brooklyn are tired of your crap and want you to take it elsewhere.
May 2, 2012, 3:16 pm
Sal Monella from Bay Ridge says:
Scott, you are the one who sounds like a racist, spewing all sorts of anti-Italian nonsense. You still pissed about all those times those nasty Italian kids took your lunch $$??
May 2, 2012, 3:54 pm
Alan from Bay Ridge says:
There mudt be more going on, not just about health and nyc costs and trash disposal - not when the cart opponents show this kind of hatred and keep throwing alternate reasons at the wall and spend so much time posting after cart stories, and only fight with one of two cart owners. Has to be something else - personality clash, anger about an inspection result, some non-cart problem, all getting deflected onto the cart, because the primal rage and schoolyard antics are too much and the cart and restaurants serve different clienteles.
May 2, 2012, 4:33 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Jay, you are right about that. If Lone Star really wants to do better, they should with themselves rather before going out at others. I can't understand why they are scapegoating the carts when the problem is really within themselves. As for such a claim that they pour the cooking oil down the sewers, where is the proof that they actually do that? How do we know that some of the restaurant owners and employees aren't doing the same thing or even down a drain or sink due to having a kitchen, because there is a good chance that they are? At least the carts are there only during the day, but the restaurants are there all the time. Still, if there had to be a bench, the person who was using a food cart there should not have only gotten just compensation for this, but also a new location, which he probably didn't get either, so he can get a case here.
May 2, 2012, 4:38 pm
SOS get lone Star out SOS from Save Bay Ridge and get Lone Star out says:
Lone Star is the problem.

Lone Start plays music till 4AM

Lone Star bring the drunks

Lone Star has drug selling and dealing by the bathroom

Lone Star is dirty and got violations for it

Lone Star has rats and got violations for it

Lone Star has roaches and got violations for it

Lone Star has fights and rowdy people till 5Am

Lone Star is the problem
May 2, 2012, 10:44 pm
Scott from Park Slope says:
Sal Monella, I am Italian. My people are from Verona. You, however, are a disgrace to Italians. It wasn't so long ago that we were discriminated against. For you guys in Bay Ridge to turn around and discriminate against other groups is despicable.

But it seems my hypothesis about the origin of this nonsense struck a chord: you feel the carts' presence impedes your ability to park your IROC-Z, and it mixed with your intense racism.

Let the guy be and ply his trade so he can make a living and feed his family. If you don't like his food, don't buy it. But don't try to keep others from doing so, because it's an illegal restraint of trade, much like if a bunch of people in the neighborhood who don't like Lone Star were to set up tables and benches so no one could get in or out of your place. And from the sound of other people commenting here, that could well happen if you keep pushing this. They will vote YOU off the island.
May 3, 2012, 4:21 am
Sal from Bay Ridge says:

Lone Star is a great neighborhood place. Stop in and you will find a good crowd.

The carts with the blinking lights don't fit our neighborhood. Who signed off and allowed them in? And if they are here in our area, why are they here everyday. Lonestar and those restaurants need to make a living as well. Limit the days or times.
May 6, 2012, 2 am
Sal from Bay Ridge says:

Lone Star is a great neighborhood place. Stop in and you will find a good crowd.

The carts with the blinking lights don't fit our neighborhood. Who signed off and allowed them in? And if they are here in our area, why are they here everyday. Lonestar and those restaurants need to make a living as well. Limit the days or times.
May 6, 2012, 2 am
JP from Bay Ridge says:
Let's stop all of the ridiculous comments that this is a racial issue. It is not! That is a weak defense often used as a crutch for lack of credible argument and it is old and tired. So stop spreading this liberal lunacy and propaganda. This is an issue of money. Business in Bay Ridge are hurting, the economy is tough and establishments like Lone Star have high overhead while the carts do not. It is simple economics. If the carts have a superior business model, as some of you on here suggested, then they would have no problem moving to another corner and being equally successful. The fact is that the spot they occupy on 86st is a prime location and any good business man would want to sell their good there. This issue has deeper ramifications. What if everyone close up their stores and started selling their good via these carts? The City would lose a tremendous amount of revenue and the economy would falter! Then everyone's taxes would go up! Think about it! This isn't an issue isolated to Bay Ridge, this issue transpires in all the boroughs.
What no one on here has commented about is the fact that although the cart has the right to be there, so does the group who is demonstrating! It is sour grapes on vendors part because this group has occupied their space and refuses to move. While some of you may call this bullying or thuggish behavior, this is nothing more than beating the other guy to the punch (which is a common tactic in business) and exercising their right to free speech. For some reason the vendors seem to feel they are entitled to that prime corner space. Well squatters rights don't count and as the article states the tables that are set up are within the law to be there! This is the land of the free and home of the brave but freedom does not equal entitlement!
May 7, 2012, 11:41 pm
No racists from In Brooklyn says:
Such boorish, aggressive behavior on the part of the shopkeepers will intimate potential customers. These guys aren't making millions off foodies. People not wanting to get bossed around or bullied in the debate will NOT shop at the Italians OR the Indian street dealers. They'll just eat at home or another hood
June 25, 2012, 11:54 pm
eddie daarab from brooklyn says:
lone star bar is just mad that they have much better food then them cause i been to lone star and they r dirt as hell were i seen a mouse in the plae and i had to leave right away so stop ur bs and let them make there money oh and the food on the cart is the best food in brooklyn
Nov. 9, 2012, 4 pm
Joe from Bay Ridge says:
Just moved into the neighborhood 6 months ago and started looking the area and found this article. I have to agree, Lone Star is the problem and Tony Gentile is a bully. Lone Star blast music at all hours of the day without any consideration for the neighbors. He has the nerve to blast it onto the streets and in the backyard. Most of my neighbors have kids and they can't sleep with his bars crazy music. It's as if we're living in the middle of a nightclub. And speaking o f drunks, guess who is the one that is the cause of the drunks? Yes, Lone Stat. I've called so many times to complain but it keeps going. Their backyard is wrecking the neighborhood.... It is waaaaaaay too loud. If this bar owner cant be respectful... then he needs to close down.
June 30, 2014, 12:50 am

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