The Coffee Shop Whose Owner Called Jews “Greedy Infiltrators” Closes

Michael Avila (photo by Dane-Rhys Photography for Bushwick Daily)

Have you been wondering what happened to The Coffee Shop on 203 Wilson Ave after its owner Michael Avila posted posted a series of disturbing anti-semitic rants on its social media this past October? The place has posted a handwritten note in its door announcing that it has closed temporarily and it will reopen under a new management, noticed DNAinfo’s Serena Dai yesterday.

The Coffee Shop has opened only in July 2014 by Michael Avila who grew up in Bushwick. In an interview for Bushwick Daily shortly after he opened, Avila said that he has a very progressive outlook and he expressed happiness over seeing Bushwick turning around. Unfortunately, in October thereafter, he began posting lengthy anti-semitic theories on his Instagram calling jews “greedy infiltrators” who “function via greed and dominance.” The internet rejected the statements resolutely. Not only a number of news outlets covered this case, also a large number of people left really terrible reviews of his establishment on Yelp, ensuring that whoever entered The Coffee Shop knew about the controversy. Avila shortly deleted all Coffee Shop’s social media accounts including his Facebook and Instagram pages.

Michael Avila originally insisted that he was misunderstood but eventually gave in and issued an apology on The Coffee Shop’s Facebook page saying: “If I have genuinely hurt anyone, I do apologize. ” However, The Anti-Defamation League, the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism didn’t buy his apology, and wrote: “We call on Mr. Avila to work to understand the evils of anti-Semitism and bigotry and accept full responsibility for his statements. We welcome the opportunity to sit down with him to help him understand the history of anti-Semitism and its impact on the Jewish community.”

A regular of The Coffee Shop told DNAinfo that Avila “seemed shaken” over the media attention his case received. The regular also commented that “His heart’s in the right place. He didn’t mean to disparage a group.”


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