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Lone Star owner trying to 'restore quality of life'

Claims he has video to back his claims

Brooklyn Daily

A Fifth Avenue bar owner, bitter over an ongoing feud with a neighboring food cart vendor who was displaced when someone put a bench at his usual selling spot, struck back at the halal wagon this week by filing a cocktail of complaints with the city’s health department.

Lone Star Bar owner Tony Gentile claims he has video to bolster the 31 complaints he made to the city against the Middle Eastern Halal Cart, showing that owner Abu Asus is running a rank mobile operation at the corner of 86th Street and Fifth Avenue — about 100 feet from his taproom.

The bar owner claims he made the videos after the food car rammed into him on March 24 when he and several other business owners, whom he wouldn’t identify, tried to block the cart from setting up shop.

“I want to restore the quality of life here to what it used to be,” said Gentile, who took steps last month to have flower beds installed at the cart’s former site, between 86th and 87th streets, before a pair of benches appeared inexplicably there under the cover of darkness — forcing the Middle Eastern Halal Cart to move further down the block.

Gentile claims cart workers sell unrefrigerated lettuce, unload raw meat in a plastic bags onto the sidewalk, and leave greasy drippings leaking onto the pavement, which the Bay Ridge Courier also documented during a visit there last Monday.

Gentile says he captured the abuses on his iPad while staking out the Middle Eastern food cart on Easter weekend, after his calls to the city went unheeded. The city requires food carts to store all ingredients in refrigerated on-board compartments, and food servers to collect and store all liquid runoff for proper disposal.

A city spokesperson said health inspectors had already fined the cart for workers not wearing hair restraints, and for operating too closely to the sidewalk, but Gentile claimed the vendor is still flouting the law by being on the short end of the legally-required 10-foot berth of the zebra stripes on Fifth Avenue, and for failing to keep 25 feet away from the entrance of the Citibank on the corner.

Sammy Kassen, who is managing the cart while Asus is visiting Jerusalem, denied the allegations.

“This is a very good business, why would we ruin it by doing anything illegal?” he said.

Gentile said he didn’t want to put the vendor out of business. He just wants it to move away.

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Reader Feedback

GrigoryLeps from Fort Hamilton says:
Lonestar has set up a table in the hallal spot and are engaging in a propoganda campaign as we speak, telling passers-by that the hallal food is no good and that they don't pay taxes.
Tony Gentile and his Lonestar posse are all racist. They are grand manipulators and schemers!
Tony is very good with the corrupt 68pct. He is pretty much untouchable.
It's so sad!
Community 10 Board has sided with Lonestar.
The Hallal guys have every right to be there!
April 30, 2012, 2:27 pm
GrigoryLeps from Fort Hamilton says:
Also...quality of life. HA! Give me a break.
Tony used to own a bar called Peggy O'Neills. He was shut down for permitting entrance for underage kids.
April 30, 2012, 2:28 pm
jay from enjoy says:
He may be complaining about the food cart but Lone Star's health report is nasty, so if the argument is a place that does not follow the law should go away, then Lone Star should go away.
Here are some of Lonestar's inspection from the NYC Department of Health website at

Violations recorded in the following area (s) at the reinspection conducted on 12/28/2011.
"Critical" violations are displayed in red.

Violation points: 13

Sanitary Violations
1) Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.
2) Accurate thermometer not provided in refrigerated or hot holding equipment.
3) Non-food contact surface improperly constructed. Unacceptable material used. Non-food contact surface or equipment improperly maintained and/or not properly sealed, raised, spaced or movable to allow accessibility for cleaning on all sides, above and underneath the unit.
4) Proper sanitization not provided for utensil ware washing operation.

Violations recorded in the following area (s) and a Notice of Violation issued at the initial operational cycle inspection conducted on 12/20/2011.
"Critical" violations are displayed in red.

Violation points: 27

Sanitary Violations
1) Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation.
2) Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility's food and/or non-food areas.
3) Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.
4) Facility not vermin proof. Harborage or conditions conducive to attracting vermin to the premises and/or allowing vermin to exist.
5) Food contact surface not properly maintained.
6) Proper sanitization not provided for utensil ware washing operation.
May 2, 2012, 1:08 am

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