The Cuban Corn Crisis on Prince Street

Posted on: February 17th, 2017 at 9:55 am by

cafe-habana-prince-protest

The corner of Prince and Elizabeth Streets was noticeably quiet yesterday as Cafe Habana’s lunch patrons were met with a locked door instead of the trendy cafe’s signature Cuban grilled corn.

Throughout the day, would-be patrons who normally loiter outside while waiting for tables or chomping down on corn, appeared confused at the closure. That is, until they noticed the small heart-shaped sign in the glass door notifying them that Cafe Habana was closed in “solidarity” with the Latino community as part of the nation-wide “Day Without Immigrants” protest which called on Latinos and other immigrant groups to go on strike from work, skip school, and boycott shopping for the day.

But hungry patrons didn’t seem that put off by the closure. Instead, they took pics to post on Instagram or Twitter, while others simply went across the street to Oficina Latina, a Latin influenced bistro, which was open. Chipotle and other fast-food joints in the area appeared unaffected by the protest.

Cafe Habana and Habana To-Go are just two of many restaurants in the city that closed in support of the nation-wide protest that hopes to raise awareness of the important contribution of immigrant workers in the restaurant industry. The strike also comes in response to the increased crackdown on illegal immigrants at the hands of ICE agents since the Trump administration took office less than a month ago.

Since its inception, Cafe Habana has consistently employed workers from the Dominican community of the Lower East Side as well as other immigrants from the city’s dwindling minority neighborhoods.

Recent Stories

Clayton Patterson Gets the Graphic Novel Treatment

Prolific Lower East Side documentarian, Clayton Patterson, is getting his own biography. An illustrated one, at that. The colorful homage is curated by Julian Voloj, and features the work of eighteen artists paying tribute to Patterson’s life and works in graphic novel form. The anthology is aptly titled, Clayton: Godfather of Lower East Side Documentary. […]

Disaster Squared: Coronavirus and Hurricanes Poses Deadly Threat to Lower East Side [OP-ED]

The following editorial is written by Pat Arnow. For more than a year, the city has been ignoring solid community opposition to a massive flood control project that will demolish East River Park, and do the opposite. Now, with a furious hurricane season predicted, not listening could prove dire for these unwealthy sections of the […]

With COLORS Faded, the ‘Bun Hut’ Takes 178 Stanton Street

Where COLORS faded, a new concept for 178 Stanton Street. That’s right, gone not three months, and the ground floor space is again occupied. This time by a fast-casual newcomer called the Bun Hut. It’s an Asian fusion joint that combines Chinese Bao with culinary elements from the Caribbean. Signage is already in place and […]

Two Lower East Side Businesses Join ‘American Dream’ Food Court in the Meadowlands

A host of New York City businesses are headed to the gargantuan American Dream complex in north Jersey. Two of which hail from the Lower East Side, we’ve just learned. Empanada Mama, with locations on Allen Street and Hell’s Kitchen, recently signed a lease to join the party. Apparently the deal was forged during the […]

Displaced Tenants of 70 Mulberry Street Issue Statement on Demolition and Redevelopment

In the wake of a divisive Community Board 3 meeting, in which preservationists were pitted against a desire for return, the displaced tenants of 70 Mulberry Street came together yesterday and issued a joint statement about shared priorities moving forward. Many in the Chinatown community feel that the city, owner of the fire-scorched former school […]