By Jessica Easthope
The phone has been ringing off the hook at Mixed Greens. The kosher restaurant in part of Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn’s COVID-19 “red zone” has had a landslide of orders since Oct. 20, when an inspector from the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs issued a summons leaving employees shocked and confused.
“Apparently the doors are not allowed to be open, and I need to operate my business with the doors closed and I can give people food only by the door,” said Mike Green, the manager of Mixed Greens.
Mike started recording the inspector when he felt he was being unfairly ticketed.
“Emotionally it’s devastating,” he told Currents News. “It’s so hard running a business as is, and to add on top of everything adding false violations is something other people might just take and pay the ticket. But I thank God I was able to stand for myself, so you guys can see.”
The city ultimately rescinded the summons after pushback from the restaurant, community and Councilman Chaim Deutsch.
“I don’t remember in the guidelines it saying anything about the doors being shut or anyone not being able to walk inside to pick up an order,” Councilman Deutsch said. “I don’t think it’s acceptable for any inspector to walk into a business and not know the guidelines correctly and write a summons.”
Mixed Greens says the mix-up has sparked an outpouring of support, not just from the surrounding area but from all over the country.
“We have people from Arkansas, from Utah, from here ordering on our site and saying give it to the person that needs it. It’s amazing,” said Jacob Green, the owner of Mixed Greens.
On Thursday a line formed safely in the restaurant of brand new customers who heard about the blunder and wanted to support.
“It’s not just our community or the local New Yorkers but all Americans, We’re in this together and we love to hear these positive vibes during this tough time,” said customer Charles Kattan.
“Things happen and we come together and it’s beautiful and that’s what community is, thank God,” said Norma Sitt, who also ordered from Mixed Greens.
“I’ve gone out of my way to come here. I’m a new customer and I just want to show support, that’s why I’m here,” another person in line said.
What Mixed Greens is asking of its customers now is to spread support and positivity to other small businesses.
“We hope we can take this curse and turn it into a blessing and that’s what it’s all about,” Jacob said.
“The next step really is trying to help out these businesses that are struggling,” Mike added. “instead of adding salt to the wounds, I think someone should be there to help them out during these rough times.”
Currents News had reached out to the city and the Department of Consumer Affairs for a comment on what happened, but was only given confirmation that the summons was rescinded.