$15 minimum wage shutters old-school Brooklyn diner

#FightFor15 must be so proud.

del rio diner

From NY Post: Say goodbye to the late-night fries and gravy. One of the last classic Brooklyn diners is biting the dust — and soon they’ll all die off due to the state’s minimum-wage increase and other factors, restaurateurs and economic experts predicted Friday.

The owner of the four-decade-old, 24-hour greasy spoon, Del Rio Diner in Gravesend, said his place is closing down because he can’t afford to pay cooks $15 an hour, along with rising rents and expensive Health Department inspection fees.

The minimum-wage law was the straw that broke the camel’s back. We’d need to raise the burger to $9 from $6.45. I don’t want to do that to my customers. They’ve been good to me. These are middle-class people,” said owner Larry Georgeton, 66.

“This is going to kill me to leave. But I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place,” said Georgeton — who has served everyone from movie stars to sports heroes at the fabled neighborhood hangout on Kings Highway near West 12th Street.

The Del Rio’s closing was first reported Friday by the Web site BrooklynDaily.com.

“The outlook for this business model is bleak. If you’re a diner, going automated isn’t an option. Neither is raising prices on your working-class customers — a $20 sandwich isn’t going to work,” said Michael Saltsman, research director at the Employment Policies Institute, which studies job growth. “It’s too bad because it’s these sorts of restaurants that make neighborhoods unique.”

Other old-school Brooklyn diners such as the Vegas in Dyker Heights, the Mirage in Midwood and the Floridian in Marine Park are also at risk, Saltsman said.

“I’m happy for McDonald’s workers. God bless them. I hope you get $30 an hour. But we can’t handle it,” Georgeton said.

Over the years, the Del Rio has served former Yankees star Joe Pepitone, actress Jessica Biel and late “Sopranos” star James Gandolfini, Georgeton said. It will close its doors for good Monday at 7 a.m.

Georgette Barrile, 69, who worked as a Del Rio waitress in the ’80s added, “I never thought this place would close. It’s heartbreaking.”


10 responses to “$15 minimum wage shutters old-school Brooklyn diner

  1. There are those who will call this “The Price Of Progress…” I call it “The Progress of PRICE.” Is America so devoid of people who are educated enough to do more than flip burgers? Guess not. I keep meeting “High School Graduates” who can’t read and write. I remember when to graduate High school one had to prove they could do both. It is a very sad commentary on America when we have to insist we pay ignorant people a “living wage” because there are so many of them.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I know of at least 4 businesses in my city which closed because of the ever increases in minimum wage. All 4 said wages were among their reasons. One business, a very popular Italian deli where customers had to take numbers for the made-to-order sandwiches, had been in business for many decades.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I am against a mandated minimum wage of $15/hour. It was a distraction engineered by the Obama Administration designed to attack small businesses. The current minimum wage in New York State is $9.25/hour. Diner owned Georgeton might be disingenuous here; At the age of 66, he might just want to retire. After all, why doesn’t he sell the diner? (Although he’s not guaranteed the ability to sell it: It might take over a year to sell such a business, and diners in the New York Metro area have been on the decline for years now).
    Sometimes I wonder if there’s a secret cabal going down a list. I am 60. Let’s look at all the classic Americana things that have gone the way of the dodo. Luncheonettes, ice cream parlors, drive-in’s, amusement parks, the Boy Scouts (in the NYC Metro area, anyway), and many other things. The America we grew up with just doesn’t exist but in memory.
    Of course change will come no matter what we do. But looking back on it all, I would blame contraception as the PUBLIC ENEMY # 1 of tradition. Margaret Sanger sold contraception as a means to curb minority populations. Instead, the upwardly mobile population (that is, white people) chose it for themselves, as a matter of convenience. This has led, in just under 50 years, to a qualitative demographic change which, necessarily, has led to changes in all the other numbers.
    And the fact that diners have been disappearing is crucially important: One of the most important things people can do to bond is to eat together. But we’ve been in a society that has been turning inward for the better part of at least one generation. Socially and spiritually, it’s a very bad sign. But as the public continues to cooperate with its own eugenic and demographic destruction, we will continue to see all traditional signs of American life simply… Disappear.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I am wondering if the boneheads that agitated for this change will be standing in the Unemployment Line and wondering what in the dickens just happened . . . it’s not like they can just go out and get another job, at any wage.

    I heard a very wise young black man on the radio a few days ago. He was of the conservative mindset, he said, “Ya gotta learn to earn!” Wiser words were never spoken, unfortunately, far to many young people have been taught that they S-H-O-U-L-D, and W-I-L-L be taken care of by society because that is their right. They never got it thru their heads that education was the pathway to economic stability. Someone sold them a bill of goods, for sure!

    Liked by 3 people

    • That’s the way it used to be, Auntie Lulu. Unfortunately, every step in the process towards our destruction has been gamed out. It doesn’t matter how well-educated anyone is: It’s a matter of connections. Example: An old friend of mine inherited his father’s auto body business. In under two years, he increased his bottom line by over 50%, settled labor disputes peacefully, and did all sorts of good things. He got a Masters in taxation and finance, magna cum laude, at the age of 24. He put a great resume together. He set about targeting the Fortune 500. After two years of looking and over 200 interviews, he was exasperated. He asked just about his last interviewer, “Could you please tell me what I’m doing wrong?” The interviewer told him, “Listen—this is off the record, all right? You got a Masters Degree from a Catholic university. You went to the wrong college. The market for CPA’s is limited to the Ivy League. That’s why no one will hire you. I’m sorry….”
      Nowadays, NO ONE CARES about where you went to school (unless it’s Ivy League), nobody cares about who you know (unless it’s set up) and the push to affirmative action is on. The market has been contracting for over 15 years now. NO ONE is looking for “well-rounded” individuals, or well-educated people or well-read people: ALL EMPLOYERS ARE LOOKING ONLY FOR DRONES.
      As George Carlin said, “It’s a great big club. And you and I ain’t in the big club.”
      Hopefully, a President Trump can read these BASTARDS the Riot Act!



  5. Thanks. Democrats!! (You folk built this… )

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Liberals are stoopid enough to vote themselves right out of a job.

    Just ask an unemployed goonion member.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I love diners and everything about them. The last time I worked in management was in 1987 in the Princeton Corridor, between New York city and Princeton, NJ, and I ate at every diner I could for the experience. I believe one reason for their decline was not mentioned, and it’s most peculiar to the US NorthEast, where 25% of its population lives.

    Specifically, it’s the role played by the Mafia in trucking, distribution, ‘protection’ rackets, and squeeze money. Thanks to Jimmy Hoffa, the mob took over the Teamsters and it’s never recovered. I had more than one private liquor store owner tell me s/he lost 25% of their income to the mob in one form or another.

    In the NY NY area the Giancana mob extracts $5000 monthly from many pizzerias, restaurants, etc., as ‘insurance’ that no competition will open in that business’s territory. I think this is a fiction on the part of the mob, but who really knows? They’d just as soon squeeze a newcomer as a long-time sufferer. Steven Broiles can likely add to this.


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