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Blind Tiger Co-Owner Rips the Department of Health, Human Nature

After being forced to open as a coffee shop and then closing, the Blind Tiger is still awaiting final word on a liquor license for its new location. It’s been a while since the Tiger addressed the issue in its newsletter (“There is no way to know when,” co-owner Alan Jestice updates us. “But we are feeling as confident as humanly possible that the Tiger will roar again”), but in the most recent installment, Jestice has taken to speaking up for another slighted local business, John’s Pizzeria, a high-profile victim of the Department of Health’s zealousness in the days following the KFC–Taco Bell debacle. Mostly, however, we were impressed by his sarcasm-drenched attack on the press, which has, of course, been gobbling up the rat story, and the Department of Health, which has been bitten by it. — Daniel Maurer

In the past week, the media has finally told us all about the rat problem that exists in New York City. Really … these guys in the press … I don’t know how they do it … This rat thing has been going on here for — what? A week? Two weeks, tops … and they were on it — They tell us that there are actually rats in dirty fast food chains … and, get ready for this folks, people that work in government agencies that are sleeping on the job!!! Let me say again, the press has this power of perception that us regular folk can’t even comprehend … it's almost supernatural. So, doing the human thing (or the knee-jerky thing, if you will), we smack and smack the Department of Health's nose with a rolled up newspaper.

Well, thankfully, the Department of Health has plenty of weaker things to bite. Instead of working on the problem internally, or opening lines of communication with owners, they go on a good ol’ lynching party. Now they are nailing any place with any sort of violation. For you non-restaurant people, most owners are hyper-aware and concerned over health issues (since it is our livelihood), but there are many minor (and very fixable) infractions that happen on a daily basis. If a location has these minor infractions, they are usually given a fine and deadline to fix said problems. But after being whacked so many times with that paper, the Department of Health has started shutting down places … But here is the funny thing … big chain restaurants (you know, the ones with the rats) can afford to lose a week or two of business … The little places that make New York so New York don’t have that kind of cash … Finding the weakest thing and ripping it to shreds, love that human nature …

As usual, I apologize for all the bad or untrue things I have said about human nature, the press, negligent fast food chain owners, the Department of Health, and New York in general. In my defense, when I saw that John's was closed, I got so mad that I just wanted to hit something.

Earlier: Customers Rush to Pizzeria’s Defense

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