Devoted lobster roll lovers have a message for the Health Department: Free Dr. Claw!
Two days after the beloved Greenpoint-based underground lobster roll chef was ordered by the city to “cease and desist” making sandwiches in his apartment, his hungry fans are rallying around him.
“There has to be a way,” said Chris Lukas, in a post to Claw’s Facebook page. “We can’t survive without Dr. Claw keeping us healthy.”
And two of his most-devoted fans have even made a “Free Claw” T-shirt inspired by the lobster claw necklace that Claw wears while delivering those delicious roll —- on sale at Cafepress.com for $19.
The beloved “lobstah pushah” has said he welcomes the support, but reminded his fishy fan base that he is not actually in jail. In an interview, Claw accused the Health Department of extortion in its effort to close down his foodie business venture — serving made-to-order lobster rolls from his home kitchen.
“I have a food handler’s license and I’m dealing in some of the finest product in New York City other than caviar,” said Claw. “It’s not like I don’t know how to handle my food.”
A health department spokesman said that Claw’s basement lobster shack, since it is not prepared in a “department approved establishment” could put people at high risk for food-related illness, which Claw disputes as “total bulls—t.”
“How do you differentiate between catering and what I do?” said Claw. “You can’t.”
Claw says he has resigned himself to closing his home kitchen for now, but has plans to reopen his business — likely using a commercial kitchen nearby.
If so, he will likely retain his made-to-order delivery model that has earned him more than 1,900 friends including Jenny Gomez, who opined on Claw’s Facebook page, “Sooooooo sorry to hear the news!!! Good luck, I’m sure we haven’t heard the last of you!”