Group ransacks NYC restaurant for condiments – NBC New York
A late-night Lower East Side restaurant was closed for days after a wild tirade took place over the July 4 holiday weekend — all over condiments.
Workers at Bel Fries on Ludlow Street have been left traumatized after chaos erupted shortly after 4am on Sunday morning, chaos which caused extensive damage.
The restaurant co-owner told NBC New York he has six employees, but no one wants to come back to work because they are traumatized and fear for their lives, he said, as they face to physical and emotional injuries.
“They’re devastated. They’re scared. One of them still won’t leave her house. She has a son. She fears for her life,” said the co-owner, who wouldn’t share his name. or show his face.
The chaos inside Bel Fries began when a number of patrons became irate and violent. The reason? They were told there was a $1.25 charge for the extra dip for their fries, according to the restaurant’s co-owner.
“They wanted extra sauce but didn’t want to pay for it,” he said. “The extra sauce is actually a dollar twenty-five, a dollar seventy-five and it all started from there, the minute they said to them, ‘Hey, you have to Leave!’ Once they told them they had to leave, they jumped on them.
The co-owner described to News 4 New York the extensive damage to his restaurant: “20 to 30 broken bottles, thrown at my employees, broken computers, the store was a disaster. Everything was a mess.
In a now-viral video, a woman throws what looks like a can at employees and then others climb onto the counter. Others whip bottles of sauce at employees, while a stool is thrown.
The group also ripped off the pandemic plastic barrier bolted to the counter, but it didn’t stop there. They continued to throw metal objects and destroy computers, while two women were seen at different times twerking on the restaurant counter.
As the group laughs and cheers, the restaurant is torn apart as another group watches, recording on their phones. News 4 New York exclusive new video shows employees behind the counter trying to take cover during the attack.
Following the chaos, three women were arrested. All face multiple charges and are due to face a judge on Friday.
The small business owner said the restaurant opened just before the pandemic, endured COVID and was just getting back on its feet when the incident happened. He rushed to the store and visited his injured employees in the hospital. Now he wonders: is it worth staying in town?
“I wonder again, is it worth it? Is it still worth doing something in New York?” he said.