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A Late-Night Robbery is the Latest Pandemic Setback for B&H Dairy

Plus, late-night Lower East Side hangout Max Fish has permanently closed — and more intel

A green awning hangs over a New York City sidewalk busy with pedestrians. In a yellow printed font, it reads “Dairy and Vegetarian Food.”
The green awning in front of the 82-year-old B&H Dairy
Robert Sietsema/Eater

B&H Dairy loses $500 in cash register robbery

After months of pandemic-related difficulties, decades-old East Village restaurant B&H Dairy faced another setback this week. At approximately 3 a.m. on Tuesday morning, a thief broke into the beloved restaurant and made off with its cash register. Local blog EV Grieve first reported news of the break-in.

“We are so sad that someone steal register [sic] and broke the door of B&H,” the owners shared in a post on Facebook. “God help us.” In the post, the owners shared a photograph of the deli’s front window, which contains a fist-sized hole, presumably used to unlock the front door and steal the register. Following the break-in, restaurant co-owner Ola Abdelwahed found the empty cash register on the corner of East Seventh Street, where the thief apparently destroyed and discarded the machine. In total $500 was stolen from the restaurant, Abdelwahed tells local blog Bowery Boogie.

The robbery is the latest in a series of hurdles for the old-school kosher restaurant, which opened its doors on Second Avenue in 1938. Earlier in the pandemic, co-owners Ola and Fawzy Abdelwahed shared that the restaurant “went from serving 200 customers a day in March, to zero customers, and therefore zero income for a full two months.” When the restaurant reopened in May, the Abdelwaheds started accepting credit cards and serving their food through third-party delivery apps — two firsts for the restaurant — but those measures only increased their customers to about 50 per day, a mere 25 percent of their pre-coronavirus sales.

“It’s always something, but B&H never give up,” Ola Abdelwahed said in a video posted the morning after the robbery. “We are here for you guys, okay?” By 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday afternoon, the restaurant had reopened its doors for delivery.

In other news

— DoorDash has announced the winners of its “winterization grants,” according to a spokesperson for the company. In New York, 100 restaurants were awarded $5,000 grants — including 886, Gertie, Llama Inn, and others — which can be put toward buying heating equipment and purchasing PPE.

— Me Sous, a new food delivery company, will soon launch grocery boxes that are curated by local NYC chefs. The company’s first box comes from Wilson Tang of Chinatown institution Nom Wah Tea Parlor and will be available on December 2 and 9.

— After temporarily closing its doors in July, late-night Lower East Side hangout Max Fish has permanently closed. The venue’s owners confirmed the closure in a post to Instagram on Tuesday evening, vowing to return at another location.

— Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue has named some of its dogs after Brooklyn restaurants and chefs, including German shepherds named Di Fara and Randazzo’s Clam Bar.

— Los Angeles put a hold on outdoor dining this week. What about here in New York City?

New York Times critic Pete Wells calls for an end to nap shaming on Thanksgiving.

— Co-sign: