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Popular New York Restaurant May Close Doors Because of Excessive Union Demands

Saturday, November 26, 2011

b smiths restaurant row

Barbara Smith, a famous model and “lifestyle entrepreneur,” started her B. Smith’s restaurant in 1986 in a New York neighborhood that, at the time, was “better known for junkies and hookers.” Since opening her Southern-inspired dining establishment, she helped reestablish the city’s Theater District as a popular and profitable tourist attraction.

“What Barbara Smith accomplished on the Avenue of Lost Souls is nothing short of remarkable,” said Dan Gasby, her husband and business partner, in a recent New York Post report.

With the enormous popularity of her restaurant, Smith decided that it needed to expand to a larger facility. She then relocated from West 47th street to Restaurant Row in New York. Her restaurant has been there for going on 11 years.

However, some recent and unexpected financial issues have her wondering whether she should just close shop. See, Local 1 of the stagehands runs the building she has leased for the last 11 years on Restaurant Row–the same union that saw its membership grow in proportion to the Theater District’s surge in popularity.

“Now with the lease expiring in February, the union wants to increase the rent 350 percent — from around $13,500 a month to about $50,000, going up to $60,000 a month within five years,” reports the Post.

This enormous increase has many believing that the same union that saw its membership grow as a result in the popularity of the pre- and post-theater dining location is purposely muscling Smith out of the distinct.

Post Continues on

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  • Lady Kroft

    So, move to a cheaper place and your name will follow. Good luck in all you do and may you prosper evermore.

    • osama obama hater

      You only forgot to tell the union jerks to screw off!

    • Bill

      You are truly a nit-wit if you think you can get away with that kind of bravado in union controlled NYC. Ever watch “the Godfather”


      yeah the union will just burn her down.

    • Mike Leonardi

      Time to something on the stove on Hi and leave. Tell the insurance company you think it was the union, create a big ol story. You know like Obama did with Bin Ladens killing and disposal.
      Mike in Afghanistan

    • Kenneth R Martin

      Can’t move, the NLRB will file a lawsuit.

  • tom

    I have belonged to 2 unions in my career but the unions suck now and they are a bunch of worthless turds running the unions today

    • Ray

      I too belonged to Unions years ago, actually I was forced to join. They are a worthless bunch of scum sucking trash. They have overstayed their welcome and should be disbanded.

    • Brake Job

      I was in two unions on Long Island local A1A and 202. Both sucked. When I needed them, I got jerked around.

    • Mike Leonardi

      They were useless bunch of fat asses, always under the influence, cried and whined did nothing for anyone. Just like Parkay, tubs of fat and can only say one thing.

    • Jeff

      Me too, i broke my leg & they left me twisting in the wind even though they had “promised” to take care of us. my union dues were $30 per 3 months, then by the time i got the cast off & physical therapy, it went up to $90 per 3 months! they’re all scumbags!

    • Millicent

      I worked for Local 138 Operating Engineers on Long Island. What a bunch of lawbreaking thugs. They wouldn’t even obey no smoking laws in the office. Bldg. was divided in 2 Sides. Pension & Welfare-no one there smoked. Union and Annuity-they all cursed up a storm and smoke filled the air. They decided to move me to the union side. I protested. They didn’t care. Began hunting for another job, but not before I reported those thugs to the Board of Health. They had to paint, shampoo rugs and put up No Smoking Signs. God, they hated me with a passion and did their best to make my life miserable until I left. LOL. Scum of the earth every single one of them. I hope the Unions are destroyed. Useful at one time, until the criminal and commies took them over.



    • Mike

      I agee whole hearedly. The unions today are about as useful as teats on a bore. All they seem to do is take your money and laugh at the membership. This is especially true if you work for something like the state prison system. When you can’t strike, the unions are of no use at all.

    • marbee

      What most people don’t realize is that the mob didn’t just go away. The unions ARE the mob! If you dig a little, you’ll find unions are financed by the mafia. LIUNA (labor union) is directly funded by La Cosa Nostra. At least in Wisconsin, the governor is crippling them. In Michigan, the union is now demanding dues from parents who take care of their own disabled kids! What a racket!

  • Sandra

    I would get out and locate to a cheaper place, to hell with the unions. Your excellent name will follow you.

    • T Lady

      Perhaps to another state, like Texas. Northern Dallas and Fort Worth are pretty busy hot-spots, and besides Texas is a Right To Work State.


    in the immortal words of Forrest Gump.
    “Stupid is as Stupid Does”.
    Find another location and take the whole theater district with you.
    By the way after the dust settles check to see what rent they offered the new tenant and if it was lower than they demanded form you sue the Union.

    • Jeff

      Sue them for CIVAL RIGHTS Violations! That’ll shake them up!

  • http://yahoo red

    The teachers unions in Wisconsin aren’t giving Governor Walker a chance to fix a financial problem the Dems and unions created and refuse to address themselves. The recall people can go to hell!

    • Millicent

      Along with that p.o.s. Commie, Maxine Waters.

  • Betty Boop

    Find another maybe even better location. Your fans for good food will follow you. I wish you well and yes tell the union to kiss off. They are nothing but a bunch of thugs and please don’t give in and pay them their extotion rent

  • P.B. Glenn

    Move on Barbara–your customers will follow you….do the union goons think you can just raise your entrees to 100 bucks to help with the rent!

    • Bill

      No, they will just make sure no one goes to work for her. Them what do will be sorry!

    • TheThinMan

      It’s not her workers that are demanding this money – it’s the Union that OWNS the building. Move on – there are other places and people will still come to eat good food – and there are thousands of people looking for work with a good boss.

  • E. Reynolds

    It won’t be the first time. The popular restaurant where Walter Winchel did his broadcasts, owned by Sherman, was also closed by union demands, The Stork Club.

  • Evelyn

    There may have been a time many years ago when unions did good for working people, but they have outlived their usefulness. The big shots of the unions suck up the money, tell the members how to vote, and play very dirty politics with the union dues. My husband worked for a unionized company and the last strike before he retired lasted 6 months, and they settled for three cents more than the company offered to begin with.
    He didn’t want to strike but if a strike is called, you must go out or you can’t work there when the strike is over. You will be called a scab and no one will speak to you.
    I learned to hate unions and I still do. As the strikers did without, the union officials were still getting their fat checks. Nuts to unions!!

    • Suescritters

      When my dad worked for Westinghouse in Sharon, PA he was chased & shot at by union thugs they threw a big rock though our window hitting my mom and sending her to the hosp. I have no use for this scum of the earth.

    • TheThinMan

      It’s not so much the big shots – the union bosses – that are sucking up the money – it’s the union transfer of money to the Socialist Democrat party that’s siphoning off the money that could be used to buy healthcare and other benefits for the working union members.

  • Nemesis

    Barbara, be Smart. The country is overwhelmed by idiots.

  • Laura

    Just more of the same, union thugs trying to through their weight around.

    • TheThinMan

      I think the Tea Party should unionize.

    • Laura

      Oh well that’s typical

    • Covert1970

      Learn to spell girl, the word is throw; through is a verb also but wrong word for this article ! It means as a means to do or accomplish; also such as go through a door !

    • Laura

      Sorry can’t help spell check, and you say dummy, i say dumb aaaaaaaaa can you figure that one out ? And anyways this is a privet conversation and you two were not invited so go back to what ever country you came from cause Anti-Americans don’t belong in America. got it good now get rid of yourself.

    • okole

      dumb twat

  • http://none Caneholder

    Didn’t any one see that the Unions were prepareing during the 1st term of ”W”? They got the next 4 years to get tightly organized and push in a ”dead head” know nothing into the white House…to do their bidding…I really can’t beleive how stupid the American people have become, so involved into them selves, they hardly know there is WORLD OUT THERE TO BE KEPT WATCH ON. oh, I FORGOT, abc, cbs, nbc, msnbc, LULLED YOU INTO YOUR STUPER, AND YOU TOOK THE BAIT, HOOK, LINE AND ”stinker”….yes, stinker….AS THE wh HAS SOILED AMERICA AND ONE MUST HOLD ONES NOSE WITH WHAT IS BEING DONE TO my COUNTRY NOW………………WAKE UP PEOPLE, IT IS ALMOST TO LATE NOW…..

  • jaxum

    I hated unions when they were still in style and no one say anything wrong with them. Everybody thought that I was just a malcontent.
    I wonder what they think now.

  • Bobseeks

    I have worked with unions for over 40 years and have come to regard union members with the same loathing that I have for pedophiles, welfare cheats, rapists, baby-killers, and just plain old scum. As long as there is a union left in the USA we are in danger of sliding into the abyss.

  • Bruce Feher

    Get yourself some of that free Obama money! Problem solved…..

    • joant

      I remember the TV clip from Detroit when many were getting free money, One woman asked where the money came from, Her answer, “I don’t know, I guess its from Obama’s stash.” His stash is right taxpayers pockets!

    • Laura

      You got that right.

  • Phyllis

    Unions have outlived their purpose and anyone that works in a union job should get all employees to strike against the union…They take the employees dues and do nothing for the employee. They are putting YOUR dues into helping OBAMA get reelected in 2012. WAKE UP and fight…..Get them out of your workplace. I am sure your employer does NOT want them there. All you have to do is get your employees together and fight the union.

    • cheryl

      If we take over the Senate and the Presidency and keep the house a law should be passed that every state could be a right to work state. That alone would finally kill the unions.

  • Ron Powell

    I was a union shop steward for 23 years and the union leadership disregarded the will of the members and did what they wanted. Their goal was to empower themselves. I would go through a picket line without reservations no matter how many goons were there. They have the mentality of the OWS bunch. Unions need to be sent to China or Mexico.

    • Pat

      Ron, OWS stands for Obama’s Witless Stooges. That says it all…

    • GreatGrandmaNana

      Hahahaha, I LOVE that!!!

    • Laura

      Ha Ha Ha thanks for the laugh i needed.

  • Time to act!

    This is how I see the problem. We all agree the White House has the wrong man in it. What we need to do is beat the bad guys by using their tricks. In addition to talking to each other we need to softly talk to and convince the BO voters to vote for which ever REP wins the primary. I suggest we do it one at a time.
    We still have time. We can win back our country. Its not too late.

  • Poncho Villa

    Union? Do you mean Soviet Union?

    • TheThinMan

      United Socialist States of America – the stars in old Glory will soon be replaced with a hammer and sickle.

    • Wink

      Sorry ThinMan, that should read United States of Israhell and those stars are gonna be Stars of David in OUR flag, I’m afraid.

  • ketrout

    Tell the union to go get screwed blue and tattooed!

    The unions are what is causing a lot of the trouble with not having jobs. The unions are what caused companies to outsource jobs to other countries.

  • John Hand

    Way back in 1962, when Jimmy Hoffa was trying to get the Teamsters into Coors (the Porcelain plant portion) in Golden Colorado, I shook Jimmy Hoffa’s hand. WHAT WAS I THINKING?

    • Fed Up

      john h. i was at the coors can plant a couple years later.coors kept the union out! but it got ugly!

    • TheThinMan

      Well, hopefully you’ve washed it a few times since then. It’s not glue and it obviously didn’t stick to you.

  • GramSam

    Compare unions to communism is there any difference??? It’s all about the collective, dues, intimidattion, violence and control.

  • Ann

    Unions should be disbanded. Why is the IRS not going after the unions for mishandling of dues? Why is the DOJ not going after the union goons for enriching themselves?
    Why are they excempt from having to file how much money they are taking in and how much they have sucked out of the funds? and how much they are contributing to Democrats running for office?
    WORKERS OF AMERICA, wake up and smell the the incredible stink the unions are wallowing in, with the blessing of the Obamination that is inhabiting the W.H.

    • Bill

      Because they don’t want to sleep with the fishes. The IRS only after defenseless middle income peole that have some assts they can attach, or confiscate. Too dangerous to fool around with corrupt union thugs and big drug people.

    • cheryl

      Why are the unions exempt from paying taxes?

  • Jerry F.

    Is it me or has this union stuff got worse,since Obama moved into the White House.I got a feeling we get rid of Obama they’ll go away.You know like throwing out the trash,the roachs will follow.

  • BruceD

    The unions wonder why jobs are going overseas. Dah. I have seen highly paid union members look forward to being laid off every winter so they could ice fish, ride their snowmobiles, etc.. When they were called back to work early, should heard the grumbling. There’s is a culture of entitlement on steroids.

  • Coldcowboy

    The only thing unions are good at is collecting dues so their leaders can live high on the hog.

    • Bill

      So, what should be done about it Coldcowboy?

  • Chris P

    And in another thread you clowns were boasting about how great the free market was.

    Suck it up.

  • Jose .

    Move to Arizona, Its a right to work state. And tell that worthless union to take a hike.

    • TheThinMan

      or move to Mickey Mouse land, Florida, right to work, no state income tax, oh – did I forget to mention they have the highest gasoline tax of all “57” states – 45 to 52¢/gal. Coming to Florida, Fill up in GA. What Florida doesn’t collect in a state tax is more than made up for in other fees and taxes – check out their auto license tag fees and the drivers license fee (Thank you Charlie Crist).

    • http://patriotupdate littlepat

      North Dakota is also a right to work state and there are plenty of jobs to be had. More jobs than we have people. Put on a jacket and come on up here. You’ll soon love it!

  • Fed Up

    unions stink to high heaven! when they started it was needed but they have outlived their useful purpose! they should be outlawed, for certain the public service ones!!

  • James

    We get up to New York every so often. Advertise your new location, and we will patronize your new restaurant.

  • froggy57

    Sounds like every business owner in NY is posting here. Afraid they might have to pay a decent wage.
    And just because some business shill like this blog says the rent is tripling.. do you actually believe that? Hell for that kind of money she could put up her own building. And if she is the heart of the district, why would anyone want to drive her out.. does not compute

  • froggy57

    I am old enough to remember when big business thugs tried to bust the unions. Guess the unions came by their activties honestly. The real crooks are the businesses. Gas prices. Food prices. Rents. The little guy is getting scalped by big business. Hooray for the unions. If it wasn’t for the unions wages would still be $1.25 an hour.

    • TheThinMan

      You live where the pay is high – check out your cost of living expenses. Around here the average family income is less than $50,000 a year (that’s two people working) – but – a three bedroom two bath house is only maybe $150,000 and about now with the housing market as it is – try one in a quiet nice neighborhood for $125,000. When people made a buck 25 an hour – a coke was 5 or 10¢. gas was 18¢/gal. increases in wages doesn’t mean you actually have any more money – the price of goods and services go up – on top of that – if unionized – you now have union dues – your taxes go up, all of them, the sales tax, the income tax. you are truly no better off than you were before. Minimum wage laws do nothing but bring more tax money into the government. To give a raise either someone gets laid off and the remaining now have to work harder/produce more or the cost of the goods and services goes up. with the cost going up, the sales tax goes up, you make “more” money, you go into a higher tax bracket, now you get to pay a higher income tax. You think you make more money – not!

    • http://patriotupdate littlepat

      Thin Man: What state are you in? It sounds a lot like my state of North Dakota. Our cost of living is so much less than other places we can get by on $50,000 or less, and real estate is also priced low.

    • Are you Serious

      Spoken like a true union moron. You have no idea what you’re talking about. ESAD

    • AnyoneButObama

      Afraid you are a little foggy Froggy. Unions didn’t increase the working man’s wages, the consumer did. Each and everytime. When a company made a profit, in order to attract better qualified workers, they paid more. When business didn’t make a profit, they couldn’t increase wages. The problems came BECAUSE of union contracts. These contracts allowed the business zero flexiblility. Which caused thousands of company’s to go out of business and millions of workers to lose their jobs. Unions are THE major source of our current unemployment in the US.

  • pistolero

    Thank the unions for the demise of the steel industry, the auto industry, the mines and then you can thank them for the high prices you pay for everything you buy. Union demands for more and more has stifled American industry.

  • tweety

    I suggest she move her business to a tax-friendlier state such as Indiana. Our local diner closed….how about Illinois? Nope, totally corrupt.

  • Kim Newlin

    This is very sad that Unions can destroy an American Business, this should not be, contact NRTW!!!!!

  • Rachelrao

    When Trump and others say the manufacturing jobs went overseas, they FORGET that all the jobs went overseas BECAUSE OF THE UNIONS. The wages they kept demanding, the benefits, the pensions, the TAXES, till businesses could do nothing but go where they could to a country where it made sense to do business. The unions made the top rich and billionaires, and DESTROYED AMERICA.

  • Larry

    If the people do not wake up real soon then there will only be service jobs left in this country we will not have any manufacturing jobs and even for the service jobs by phone will be shipped to India and anywhere else that they will even speak very little English and we will never talk with an American unless they move to India and get a job there. The worthless back stabbing Unions will price every person out of a job. You don’t have to believe me jest look at how many jobs have left this country because of the cost of operating because the Unions have driven labor cost’s through the roof.

  • skip gainer

    The unions are cutting their own throat and hopefully the democratic party. I was a business agent for my local but lost my job when I stood up for the men and would not go along with the union bosses corruption to screw my members. Which they anyway!

  • mjnellett

    The SOCIAL PROGRESSIVES wonder why the unions have lost so much support in the last decade> The ungrateful twits! Pull out now Barbara and let New York collapse under it’s own corruption,and greed.

  • Cathy

    The unions have gotten much worse since Obama was elected to office. Think National Labor Relations Board and their issue with Boeing putting a plant in Right to Work South Carolina. They are suing them over it. Also, the NLRB is going to put out new regulations that will require that if workers vote to bring in a union, the company will only have 10 days to work against it. It was much longer.

    The NRLB is composed of five members, but they only have three now as they have two vacancies. Obama appointed Craig Becker in a recess appointment as the Senate wouldn’t approve him, and his appointment is set to expire by the end of the year, and the Senate will not vote to re-appoint him. He is a liberal left-wing union lawyer. So, we have two Democrats and one Republican. The Republican is said to be thinking of quitting as they would then not have a quorum, but it appears that this regulation must be passed anyway. I don’t know all the
    details, apparently this would apply to any business regardless of how many employees they have.

    If I were a business owner, and the unions tried to come in, I would tell the employees if they want to unionize, then the doors to the business will be shut, and the jobs will be gone. I suspect business owners will be intimidated by the thug tactics and give in, but eventually the demands will force them to shut down.

    The union thugs intimidate the employees by even following them home and threatening them until they sign up. This should not be allowed in this country. We all have rights, and people should be protected against this thuggery.

    Senator Rand Paul and others are sponsoring a national Right to Work bill that would cover all states. We need to support that bill, and we also need to take over the Senate, keep the House, and send Obama packing if we want to take back this country.

    You union members can vote anyway you want when you go in to vote. I know union members who voted for Obama but will not be doing it again. Stand up for your rights. The unions are only for the guys at the top, not the working people.

  • Jerry M

    A short story dealing with Union Violence in America. FREE copy….never a charge

  • Bruce


  • david halbritter

    i work for elevator union and support newt and i deserve every penny i get cause crawling underneath and on top of elevators and working with high voltage wires and getting called in the middle of the night for elevator entrapments = dangerouse job

  • Wild Bill

    The Obama Union Army’s has and will get him elected again and you will never get away from them. Than see how much your rent go’s up. I also belonged to two unions during my working career and the only thing they did for me was to keep taking my dues and we still got nothing in return. Move and make sure you know who you rent from in future.

  • G K

    The slug line of this article is clearly misleading. “Popular New York Restaurant May Close Doors Because of Exorbitant Rent Increase” would have been more accurate.

    I don’t care much for unions either – but let’s not stoop to the liberal media level.

  • AnyoneButObama

    Unions at one time helped the worker and the communities. Not now, they price everything too high, everyone loses their job and they blame the company. Unions are old, need to be eliminated. They do NOBODY any good. Only the Union Bosses that rape the union mamebers.

  • Magnum

    With the exception of Congress, the unions may be the the most successful, government protected ans sanctioned crimininal oraganiztions in the Nation’s history. It is absolutely dispicable to think that anyone should have to pay tribute to, and than be forced to join a union in order to make a living. There wasa time when unions served a valid purpose, and acted in the best interests of their members, and the country as well. Those times have long passsed, and unions now are merely political machines deicated to providing financial and servicees support the elected politicians that pave the way for their thuggery

  • Henry

    Unions are “THE ENEMY WITHIN” !

  • stephen russell

    Franchise, find new locale & sue Unions.
    Leave NY in other words, IE come to HI, CA, FL, TX NV, NM, ND.

  • okole

    The most damning thing about this story is the unions lack of response. They might have a good reason to not extend the lease “capitalism the key concept here” but what is it ? Anyhow by reading online reviews of the restaurant, it would seem that Ms. Smith should relocate to more liberal bastions such as Marthas Vineyard or ????

  • Ann C

    Unions have brought economic chaos to nearly ever state in the union, thanks to whoever was the vacuous politician to think that government workers should be unionized. The Gov. of Wisconsin campaigned on what he said he would try to accomplish, if/when elected. He was elected, began keeping his word, and, the union-infiltrated protest mobs went to work on the Gov. and Repubs in the state legislature, and “so what” that they were elected on their platform.

    The rate increase they’re demanding sounds quite like the more openly obvious days of “protection” payments. The union gets some, the mob gets some, and all God’s children do the work and are glad to have enough to buy food and a dumpy shelter.

    Those who charge dishonest amounts, whether in jobs or products or services, are an abomination according to Proverbs.

    I hope this restaurateur takes this to her legislators and the media as well.

    • Cape Conservative

      With ‘nanny’ Bloomberg in charge of the city and Schumer/Gillibrand as senators, I’m afraid any attempt to have legislators intercede on her behalf would meet with failure.

      As for the ‘media’ – doubt there will be much sympathy found in those quarters either!

      I go along with others – as troublesome as it will be to relocate, I’d tell the union that owns the building to go fly a kite!

  • Mark in LA

    Its good to see all the so-called conservative retards blaming the unions when it actually is a landlord problem. What is the difference between the union asking for more rent and a corporation or other landlord asking for more rent – nothing.

    Thanks for being the Republicans stooges.

    • okole

      You are right. There are knee jerk anti union responses abundant here with no understanding of what the actual negotiations are about.

    • http://google Leonard W. Giddens

      Greed, Greed, Greed. Nothing else needs to be said.

  • Dan

    Typical union B.S. At 1st they were needed, now they are as corrrupt as are most public
    helper groups. Just close it up, take the money and run or these sleazy jerks will keep taking more and more and more until you will feel you are working for them. There are also many states where the unions are bearely into the restaurant business. Don’t end up working for these sleazbags…it is not worth it.

  • Dan

    I meant “barely” in the above post.

  • The Truth

    Union organizations are simply pyramid schemes that use thugs to steal more money. Liberals want to discuss greed in society then maybe they had better look at the groups they do support.

  • Captain Stebo

    As usual, the unions are nothing more than parasites on the working man. There was a time when they did good, but not in the last 50 years have they helped anyone but themselves.

  • Dave

    Typical union crap. If I were her, I would strip everything she has of value and leave
    just bare walls. Otherwise some union thug
    (being redundant) will walk in and open up
    a new restaurant overnight. Prices will go up
    and the union boss and obama will get their
    “taste” Nothing changes until the Kenyan is thrown out and sent back to Kenya

  • Hal

    I have belonged to three unions in my lifetime and they are all useless. Yes there was a time when they protected the workers from management abuses but that day is long gone because of competition.I personally had union stewarts come up behind me and tell me, “you are working too hard,slow down”!!!!
    Next woud come a union time study person and do his thing, then a time study person from management would show up and study my operation. What a way to run a shop? You never knew who you could trust!!!! No wonder China has undercut the U.S. in price’s of products. The U.S. worker is the most productive worker in the world.We can outperform and outproduce any workers in the world,if left alone.Get off our backs!!!!!!!!