NY Pizza Shop Owners’ Racist Past Against Asian, Black Community Exposed

NY Pizza Shop Owners’ Racist Past Against Asian, Black Community ExposedNY Pizza Shop Owners’ Racist Past Against Asian, Black Community Exposed
Editorial Staff
January 11, 2021
The father-and-son founders of New York City’s Prince Street Pizza (PSP) have stepped down from daily operations amid a social media backlash over racist comments they made in the past.
The restaurant, which recently opened a store in Los Angeles, is one of NYC’s most popular pizzerias, holding a 4.5-star Yelp rating based on 3,753 reviews.
The owners’ alleged racist comments resurfaced after food blogger Joe Rosenthal first brought them to light on Instagram in late December.
“Prince Street Pizza’s apparent failure to fulfill orders placed on their website or inform customers of issues sent me down a rabbit hole,” Rosenthal wrote. “I found multiple Yelpers claiming that they were treated poorly at PSP due to their race.”
In screenshots of now-deleted Yelp reviews, the restaurant can be seen aggressively responding to critical commentary, telling customers who complained about their staff to “go sh*t on a hat.”
The “business owner” replying to those reviews was named “Frank M.” It was not immediately clear whether those replies actually came from PSP owner Frank Moreno, or someone else managing the restaurant’s Yelp page.
Image Screenshot via @joe_rosenthal
In a series of replies from 2017, the restaurant can be seen calling a customer a “mutt,” “mongrel,” “yellow dog” and a “disgrace” to the Asian community.
“I called you a mutt, which means coward. I called you a yellow dog, which means coward. I called you a mongrel, which is what you are!” the restaurant wrote. “Why don’t you just sh*t the f*ck yo [sic] you communist piece of sh*t.”
Image Screenshot via @joe_rosenthal
Rosenthal pointed out that they are also unsure of who responded to the customers. Regardless, the restaurant’s hostile language appeared to extend beyond Yelp.
Frank’s son, Dominic, allegedly shared a Facebook video that showed Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters getting hit by cars. The 2016 post had a “joke” for a caption that said, “Why do BLM and other protestors cross the road? To get run over by angry drivers.”
Image Screenshot via @joe_rosenthal
Condé Nast designer Matthew Famularo (@matthewfamularo.svg) reportedly confronted PSP over the “joke,” but they only received a meme that doubled down its message.
More screenshots show that the restaurant also reveled in Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss and supported the counter-protest Blue Lives Matter.
Image Screenshot via @joe_rosenthal
Since Rosenthal’s revelation, Yelp users have flooded PSP’s page with one-star reviews, condemning the restaurant for its blatant racism. In Instagram Stories posted on Jan. 7, PSP finally responded to the backlash with an apology.
“We care deeply about our customers’ feedback and take it very seriously when a customer has a negative experience in one of our shops,” the restaurant said. “Our actions in the past in addressing negative customer concerns have fallen short and were extremely inappropriate. What we said and how we behaved was wrong then, is wrong today, and will always be wrong. We truly apologize and empathize for the hurt we caused in these incidents and apologize to all of our Prince Street Pizza customers.”
Image Screenshot via @joe_rosenthal
On Jan. 8, PSP announced that owners Frank and Dom Moreno have stepped down from day-to-day operations “due to their respective involvement in a series of offensive comments made to customers across Yelp and other platforms.”
“There is nothing okay about the comments I made on Yelp,” Frank said. “I take full responsibility and wholeheartedly apologize to our customers, especially our Asian community. All of our customers are family to us, and you deserve so much better. I am stepping down because it’s the right thing to do.”
While announcing the decision, Frank partly defended his response to the incident involving the Asian customer. According to the restaurant, that customer was kicked out following their “intoxicated and violent behavior toward other customers and employees.”
The customer allegedly retaliated and called Frank “racially degrading terms about his Italian heritage and employee’s other racial epithets.”
“I wanted to protect my customers and employees,” Frank said. “I should have never responded, I should have taken the high road and let it be. I was so incredibly offended because I love all of our customers and want to protect them and I was shocked at what I was reading. However, the fact of the matter is there is no excuse for what I said and how I responded.”
Dominic also apologized for the “highly insensitive” content he had shared.
“Making light of violence is indefensible. I apologize from the bottom of my heart. The horror the world has witnessed in unwarranted and unjust deaths of black men and women killed in recent years has been heartbreaking. And me making light of what is happening was and is wrong.”
Feature Image Screenshots via @psp_nyc, @joe_rosenthal (Overlay)
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