Fleishers Craft Butchery was once deemed a culinary rock star, an honor bestowed to it by the often-hard-to-please New York Times. But after 19 years, Team Fleishers decided to put a fork in it.
Fleishers Craft Butchery temporarily shut down in August 2021 after workers staged a walkout to protest the removal of Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ pride signs by upper management. The removal was fueled by a friend of Rob Rosania, the butcher’s top investor. The alleged friend was reportedly “offended by symbols supporting the Black Lives Matter movement in the company’s local shop window” in Westport, Connecticut on June 22, 2021, so Rosania ordered CEO John Adams to remove the signs.
Adams took the directive to heart and promptly jumped on a train from New York to Westport the same day to personally remove the signs. The CEO then circled back to NYC the following day and removed similar signs from the store in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
The employee walkout swiftly followed and many workers simply walked away forever. It immobilized an already limping restaurant business in the face of COVID-19 closures, a nationwide hiring shortage, and the peak period of the Great Resignation. The Upper East Side location at 1325 Third Avenue at 76th Street never reopened. Neither did the two in Connecticut. The Park Slope location reopened in March, according to Grub Street.
However, the remaining employees walked out permanently – and perhaps poetically in the middle of LGBTQ+ Pride Month – as the restaurant closed for good. The company announced the news on its website.
“GOODBYE! Thank you for visiting the Fleishers website. After 19 years of business, Fleishers Craft Butchery has made the difficult decision to permanently close its doors. We are grateful to have been able to give you the best quality and healthiest meat possible during that time. We appreciate your support. Take Care, Team Fleishers.”