UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (PIX11) — An Upper East Side coffee shop is receiving an outpouring of support from the community after the owner said four workers abruptly quit over his solidarity with Israel in the country’s war with Hamas.
The owner of Caffe Aronne, Aaron Dahan, said the workers walked off the job Tuesday morning after expressing pro-Palestinian views.
He said they objected to the posters of Israeli hostages that he had put up in the front window of the shop under the Israeli flag.
“There was a concern on the employees’ side that maybe it wasn’t going to look good, that it would lead to us maybe losing some business,” Dahan says a manager said.
Dahan told PIX11 News he thought he would have to shut down because there was no one to work at his store on Lexington Avenue and East 71st Street. Instead, word of the walk-out spread in the neighborhood and on social media and a line later stretched down Lexington Avenue with New Yorkers waiting to buy a cup of coffee or volunteer to make and pour the coffee. Some people donated to his fundraiser for Israel.
“We came out here to show support and solidarity with Israel, and we’re just really proud of him,” Julie Kopel, who knows Dahan, said.
“We all showed up to support the release of the hostages, and the cafe and the owner and Israel,” Hillary Pearson, who was standing in the line to help, said.
Dahan said he was amazed by the community response. Late Tuesday night, he got another shipment of coffee beans and milk, and another local coffee shop is sending two baristas on Wednesday to help out.