Milk St. Cafe Owner Says Kosher Food Hall On Verge Of Closure

milk st. front

Yesterday, we at Midtown Lunch: Downtown were alerted by an e-mail from a publicist that the situation at the giant kosher food hall Milk St. Cafe isn’t really any better than it was a few weeks ago when they had to lay off 21 staff members and news reports said they were hemorrhaging money. The blame was put squarely on the barricades put up on Wall St., and therefore in front of the restaurant, due to the Occupy Wall St. protests a couple of blocks up Broadway. They were taken down temporarily, but then put back up and owner Marc Epstein says that if the 30% drop in business doesn’t rebound, they’re going to have to close.

When I walked by this morning, there weren’t any barricades directly in front of the store, but there is a weird corraled area up Wall St. across from the stock exchange (which didn’t stop a huge clump of Chinese tourists from completely invading the street and blocking my way). Epstein says that if the barricades don’t come down by Friday, Milk St. Cafe will be in danger of shuttering. Epstein got an update from the police on Wednesday saying that it will be at least two weeks until the barricades are removed, and he’s also been complaining about the mess that the police horses are leaving in front of the store.

There was a lot of excitement when Milk St. opened at the end of June, bringing kosher Asian food and smoked meats to those in the Financial District. If it closes, we would be back to a handful of tiny places with minimal or no seating. Do any of you Lunch’ers eat at the food hall regularly? Would you miss it if it was gone? Let us know in the comments.

Milk St. Cafe, 40 Wall St. (nr. William), (646) 827-9955


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