A restaurant in New York City is rejecting a mandate by Mayor Bill de Blasio ordering businesses to discriminate against unvaccinated customers.
by Adan Salazar
The owners of Pasticceria Rocco in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, say they’re trying to rebuild after last year’s protracted lockdown, which brought business to a halt.
Now the fed-up restauranteurs are rejecting a mandate by the city’s mayor dubbed the “Key to NYC” initiative, which orders businesses to require customers to show proof of vaccination before they can dine in an establishment.
Rocco’s now features a giant four-foot sign reading, “We do not discriminate against ANY customer based on sex, gender, race, creed, age, vaccinated or unvaccinated.”
“All customers who wish to patronize are welcome in our establishment,” the sign adds, featuring the hashtag #StandTogether.
In a video posted to social media by Rocco owner Rocco Generoso, he tells fellow New Yorkers they need to unite against Mayor de Blasio’s tyrannical mandate.
“I’m doing this for all Americans, everyone in this world. You gotta stand up for what’s right, and what de Blasio’s doing is 100 percent out of line and it’s a straight grab at our freedom.”
“So I’m not discriminating, I’m not segregating anyone based on the new class of person that he made, which is the vaccinated and unvaccinated. Anyone that wants to patronize my store, you’re more than welcome.”
Speaking to the New York Post, Rocco’s wife, Mary Josephine, elaborated on her restaurant’s resistance to the order.
“For me, it’s not political — most of my customers are vaccinated,” said the restaurant manager.
“It’s about civil liberties and freedoms. Now we have to be in a society where people can’t roam freely and enter my place of business if they want to? How is that OK in the United States of America?”
“Once I heard the mayor come out and speak in the beginning of August stating that we were going to have to check vaccine status, I instantly thought that was so un-American. I could not understand how we were going to start discriminating against people who weren’t vaccinated,” Generoso commented to Pix11, adding, “I really feel like people should be able to enter an establishment if they choose to, whether they’re vaccinated or not.”
Generoso says she fears reprisal from de Blasio goons who could show up any minute.
“It’s scary. I feel like we will be made an example of,” she told the Post.
“It is really hard to go up against a machine, and that’s what we are up against. Honestly, I put the sign up because I was hoping that other business owners would also have the courage to speak out. But it is mainly our customers who have reached out in support.”
The mayor’s “Key to NYC” order, which rolled out on Tuesday, orders businesses to turn away customers 12 and older who haven’t received at least one experimental jab.
If your business is covered by this requirement, you will be required to check the vaccination status of all staff and customers 12 and older. You may not permit entry to anyone 12 and older who has not received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. You can make an exception for allowing customers to use the bathroom or for another reason that will take a small amount of time (e.g. less than 10 minutes).
According to the Post, the order was recently revised to also allow children under 12 who are not yet eligible to be jabbed to dine indoors with vaccinated parents.
Fines for entities that do not discriminate against vaccinated individuals start at $1,000, with a second violation costing $2,000, and $5,000 for a third violation.
Customers attending restaurants are required to present a New York City Covid Safe Pass, or a CDC Covid-19 Vaccination card as proof of vaccination.
Restauranteur Massimo Felici says the new requirements could spell the end of his three businesses on Staten Island.
“For 15-16 months business was not happening at all,” Felici told the BBC. “In one I had to get rid of 80% of my staff. We barely survived. I thought I was definitely going to lose my restaurants.”
“This could destroy my business…There are too many people who are unvaccinated.”
Aside from business owners, de Blasio has vowed to make life difficult for unvaccinated individuals.
“It is time for people to see vaccinations as literally necessary to living a good, full and healthy life,” de Blasio stated at a recent press conference. “If you’re unvaccinated, unfortunately, you will not be able to participate in many things.”
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