Remember way back in October when Michael Avila, the owner of the relatively new Bushwick Coffee Shop, posted an anti-Semitic rant (a word which is frequently overused, but here is perfectly on-point) to his coffee shop’s Instagram account, in which he called his Jewish neighbors “greedy infiltrators” and rambled on about how they wanted to own “a piece or all of Bushwick” and used the classic excuse that he was just “telling the truth,” but knew he’d probably end up being called “a racist.” Well! Even though Avila apologized for the Instagram post and claimed to be misunderstood, it seems like maybe—just maybe—his fellow Bushwick residents decided that rather than patronize a place owned by someone who not only is anti-Semitic, but also has a very poor grasp of how to use social media, they’d all go somewhere else. Because, reader? This coffee shop is now closed for business.
DNAinfo reports that “a hand-written sign was recently posted to the shop’s window saying that it has ‘closed temporarily’ and will reopen in the spring ‘under new management,'” management that can be assumed to not be headed by Avila, though neither he nor the landlord would comment to DNAinfo. It’s hard to say at this point whether or not the closure is based solely or even primarily on Avila’s social media snafu, and easy as it is to feel like this is the ultimate case of schadenfreude, it’s actually just a pretty depressing story all around. Avila was a Bushwick native who claimed that it was his life’s dream to open a coffee shop in his own neighborhood because he “wanted to be part of the neighborhood’s changes.” This is the kind of story that has so much potential to be heart-warming and that you want to root for, and yet it became a depressing spiral down into a sad failure. Happy new year, everyone.
Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen