Marc Epstein, owner of the Milk Street Cafe at 40 Wall Street in lower Manhattan, said he had to cut 21 of the 97 members of his staff on Thursday and Friday after seeing sales plummet by 30 percent in the six weeks since the protests began. He's also been forced to slash the restaurant operating hours, moving up his closing time from 9 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays.The owner of the cafe doesn't want to cast blame, but it's clear what he's thinking.
The incessant noise and police activity aside, Epstein said the biggest obstacle to his business has been the ubiquitous New York police barricades surrounding Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan.
"It's not only a physical impediment, it's a psychological impediment," Epstein told FoxNews.com. "You look down Wall Street now, and it looks like it's under siege. So, people who have to walk down Wall Street don't walk down Wall Street. It used to be a beautiful pedestrian mall, and now it's not -- it's ugly."
Asked if he felt the protesters realized they were hurting his business, Epstein replied: "I'm very afraid of getting into what they are thinking and whether it's the police or the protesters because I don't want to get mixed up in the battle between them. But everyone should understand the consequences of their actions and nobody is."Gee, who is it who seems to be ignoring consequences? Might it be people who are asking for a bailout because they can't find a job to repay their deep college-loan debt? Or how about those people who think that bailing out banks means that they should be bailed out also and they should get a bigger slice of pie without wondering what all those bailouts will do to the economy and the chances for businesses to expand and hire some of those people who don't have jobs...people like the staff of the cafe which had the bad luck to be located near their camp-out?