Black Tree Reboot ‘Raw Material’ Evicted from Orchard Street

Posted on: May 18th, 2017 at 5:12 am by

For the second time in two years, the Health Department wielded its hammer at 131 Orchard Street. Only this time, for Raw Material (nee Black Tree), it wasn’t a mouse infestation.

In an apparent coordinated hit by the Health Department and the State of New York Workers’ Compensation Board, inspectors recently shut down the eight-month-old Raw Material on Orchard Street. Token stickers are pasted to the doors, announcing the reasons for closure – operating without a permit from the former and failure to secure Workers’ Compensation and disability benefits for employees from the latter. That visit happened at the end of April; on Tuesday, the Marshal paid a visit to seize the space on behalf of notorious landlord Samy Mahfar.

The closure is somewhat expected, though, as turmoil reportedly befell owner Sandy Dee Hall toward the tail end of last year.

At the time, we heard serious allegations of payroll issues, mismanagement, and non-payment of both wages and vendors. Indeed, one employee, who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the situation, said she quit Raw Material last fall because she wasn’t paid. She also explained that the cops were called several times due to alleged high-octane arguments between Hall and Mahfar, who was accused of locking the basement door where the only refrigerator was located.

Hall refuted those claims of non-payment outright, but had previously confirmed he called the cops to help gain access into the basement.

Now, the inside is a mess. Completely torn asunder.

Recent Stories

Expect Pandemonium with Drake and Nicki Minaj at Basketball City for ‘NBA Awards’ Next Month

The inaugural NBA Awards show is set for next month, and will likely jam up the Lower East Side waterfront. Drake is hosting the tentpole event, which will be held at Basketball City on Pier 36. Nicki Minaj was tapped to perform, too, it was announced last week. Drake will help announce the winners for […]

Report: East River Houses Co-op Board Destroys Garden for Concrete Slab

Over the holiday weekend, the board of East River Co-op pulled an apparent sneak attack and uprooted a chunk of the cooperative garden. The purported reason – this concrete slab is allegedly meant to assist in snow removal. The affected acreage lies in the courtyard behind Building 1. The five-year-old garden was conceived and maintained […]

Rabbi Appeals to Area Jews to Keep Spotlight on Destroyed Beth Hamedrash Hagadol

The site of the ruined Beth Hamedrash Hagadol synagogue – felled by fire two weeks ago, has been eerily silent of late. Its hollowed-out sanctuary, for the time being, remains jailed behind a perimeter fence, attracting the gaze of camera-wielding locals. The 14-year-old who allegedly started the fire – a Lower East Sider – was arrested […]

Spring Street Developer Attempts Override of Special Little Italy District Zoning with Courtyard Addition

One developer in the heart of Little Italy remains committed to overriding the special zoning district for commercial gain. Concerned neighbors are likewise rallied in opposition. Developer Joseph Brunner purchased 55-57 Spring Street in July 2015 for $15.5 million (from Marolda Properties, sued by the state for tenant harassment). Residents and retail were affected much the […]

Lindsey Thornburg is Moving Her Orchard Street Boutique to Chelsea

The two-year tenure of Lindsey Thornburg at 21 Orchard Street is coming to an end. The eponymous store owner is moving to an “appointment only atelier in Chelsea” in the coming days. When asked why she was relocating, Thornburg mentioned how she wanted “to be closer to the garment district.” Makes sense. And thus concludes […]