The Fortune House, the classic old Chinese restaurant in Brooklyn Heights, recently closed for renovations. Or so the sign in the window said.
Turns out the owners were less than upstanding citizens. The New York Post reported that the shuttering occurred because that had been underpaying their staff for years:
Three ex-staffers at Fortune House – include two who worked there more than 10 years – claimed in a suit filed in Brooklyn federal court July 8 that they were paid cash-only, below minimum wage and never collected overtime pay despite working shifts lasting between 10 to 12 hours a day.
Angel Miranda-Alvarado of Queens, who was hired as a dishwasher in 1985 and worked his way up to cook, claims he worked 66 hours a week but only received $600 — and no overtime pay. Prior to 2009, he earned $380 working the same hours, the suit says. The other plaintiffs are Manuel Chiqui of Brooklyn and Eddie Miranda-Vasquez of Queens.Lost City does not approve of such behavior. I never would have eaten there, or made the restaurant a subject of "Who Goes There?," if I had known.
The new owner Han Dieb will operate on the up and up. However, he does not know if he'll retain the name. Would be a shame if he didn't. Because that would mean the removal of the wonderful old sign.