About a week ago, a bartender at Midtown's Sparks Steak House, the once legendary mob spot, told one of his customers "finish your drink, don’t worry about your tab and get out of here. It’s about to get ugly." Since then, 34 front of house staffers have been standing along 46th Street screaming at the top of their lungs for full health benefits. Workers reportedly pay for 33 percent of their health insurance now and want to get that number down to zero. One protester told DNAinfo: "We're professionals with families and it's embarrassing to us. We're out here all day for self-respect."
Neighbors are used to loud protests from the U.N., which is nearby, but a tipster tells Eater that this protest is "far louder than any country protest I've heard." Clearly, it's starting to wear on locals, who are becoming less sympathetic by the day.
An out of town guest on Yelp was bummed: "I want to give this place 5 stars.... I'm just upset I didn't get to take pictures outside the place (yeah, a touristy thing to do would've been to lay on the sidewalk.)" And, a regular of over 20 years will never return because of the labor issues.
The restaurant has hired replacement staff and stayed open, operating somewhat normally. But, according to that tipster, things may have turned violent at one point earlier this week: "Three front windows at the restaurant were replaced after being destroyed."