A surprise walk-out at the Central Park Boathouse yesterday forced the landmark restaurant to close just before the lunch rush.
On its own, that’s news of note. But what takes things to another level was the daring, rowboat-powered, amphibian assault by striking workers!
Unrest at the Boathouse is nothing new. Worker have long-contended that owner/operator Dean Poll has employed unfair business practices and has thwarted their attempts to unionize. A protest was held in April, and in June six workers filed a sexual harassment lawsuit.
The usual suspects, including DNAinfo, WSJ, Gothamist, and Eater reported on yesterday’s strike, and they all give a good background on the situation. Definitely worth a read if you have any interest in the subject.
Some members of the union, the New York Hotel Trades Council, tried to approach the restaurant from the other side, in rowboats they had rented before the walkout began. As it got under way, they slipped on T-shirts that said, “Dump Dean,” and the boaters floated toward the restaurant’s open-air deck.
Soon, another rowboat apparently carrying Boathouse managers made its way out. They tried to attach a line to one of the demonstrators’ boats to tow it in. The line did not hold, but once the concession was shut down, organizers ordered the union members to bring their boats ashore.
Battle on the high seas of the Central Park Lake!
Kudos to the union for their ingenuity, and just a terrible job by the restaurant managers who thought trying to lasso the invading rowboats was anything but an awful idea. Perhaps if the protesters actually had cannons I’d think differently.
If anyone has pics or video of this, you can have my first-born.
Filed under: Central Park, Food & Drink, Going Out, Manhattan, New York City, News, NYC, Restaurants, Upper West Side, Upper West Side Blog, Upper West Side Oddities, UWS 3 Comments »
Tags: Boathouse Restaurant, Central Park Boathouse, Dean Poll, New York City, NYC, rowboat, Strike, Union, Upper West Side, UWS, walk-out, walkout