Closed for renovations? Not likely.
Dish Dumbo, the Mediterranean-inspired restaurant that opened to fanfare in October 2013, looks to have shuttered its doors – likely for good. Closed since early June, the eatery at 81 Washington Street’s sheer drapes are drawn, patio plants are overgrown, and tables are stacked and abandoned. The now-worn sign in the restaurant’s glass window cites “new management” as the reason for its closure.
However, according to Jon, a former Dish employee, Ms. Abed was forced to closed her restaurant after employees walked out on June 7 after she did not pay anyone for two weeks. “The sign in the window says ‘closed due to new management’ but in reality the owner Samera Abed does not have any more money after her investor stopped funding her because of her poor management.”
Ms. Abed told DumboNYC that her employees’ claims are false. “Yes we are closed for now but it is not because the staff walked out,” she said. “We are renovating and repositioning our restaurant.”
She added, “The staff has always been treated well. If any have issues with ownership or feel they were wronged they should contact me directly as I hope to work with them again in the future.”
But Jon countered that since the employees left, “she is dodging calls and emails.”
While Dish opened to great anticipation in October 2013, it quickly became clear that the restaurant had its kinks to work out. After a repeatedly delayed opening, service reportedly quickly declined, as detailed in progressively dismal Yelp reviews. Neighbors complained of late-night partying and yelling that continued onto the street past the restaurant’s stated hours.
Ms. Abed insists that the restaurant will reopen later in the summer. However, information is swirling among former employees that she has instead moved for Florida, and that Two Trees is seeking to void her lease.
“We never got paid for the last two weeks of our employment, [and] most of us are not eligible for unemployment because most of us were there less than 6 months,” Jon said.
While Dish’s former employees look to put the restaurant behind them, Dumbo awaits what’s next for Dish’s space.