New York City Cafe May Shut Its Doors for Good Due to 'Occupy,' Owner Says

The owner of an eatery in New York City's Lower Manhattan who said he was forced to let go 25 percent of his staff last month due to the Occupy Wall Street protests now says he might have to close his doors for good come next week.

Marc Epstein, owner of the Milk Street Cafe, tells that authorities have not taken down barricades around Zuccotti Park and along Wall Street despite the dwindling number of protesters since they were evicted from their encampment two weeks ago, keeping consumer foot traffic and his profits to a minimum.

“It’s like a siege mentality down here. It’s killing business for everyone down here,” said Epstein, who said he was forced to fire 21 employees after sales dropped 30 percent since the start of the Occupy Movement. “If we don’t get relief, I won’t be able to stay open past Tuesday.”

Epstein says that foot traffic has dropped despite the camp being removed from the area and that he’s losing vital business from tourists that have been avoiding the area.

Officials for the police department said there are no longer barriers at the Milk Street Cafe and haven’t been for some time. Barriers remain at the Stock Exchange, where they have existed long before the cafe opened.

But despite where the barricades are, Epstein says that the disruption around Wall Street has gone on for far too long.

“Now that the protesters have waned, let’s get life back to normal already,” Epstein said.

Requests for comment to City Hall were not immediately returned.