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.

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