The Brother’s Bagels, a family-owned bagel shop in Bay Ridge, is picking up the pieces after three men came in and, unprovoked, tore apart much of the shop, creating over $13,000 in damages. The incident took place this past Friday, after the shop had already closed for the day. Security camera footage shows the men violently kicking in the glass of one of the display counters, throwing tables, and knocking equipment off of shelves.
The shop is owned by two brothers, Hector and Edgar Morales. Tomas, Hector and Edgar’s brother, was not working that day, but he heard about what happened from his brothers. He has no idea why someone would do this to them, he said. When the men first came in, he said, Edgar, who was in the store at the time, thought they were just some of their regular customers coming in to grab a bottle of water. Because they know everybody in the neighborhood, Tomas said, they’ll often keep the door open even after closing, and people can come in for something quick. Edgar initially assumed that was the situation, so he didn’t react right away.
“We’re working seven days, thirteen hours a day, to collect money to pay the rent,” Hector told CBS New York the day after the incident.
They’ve been a little scared, Hector told us, but otherwise, they’re doing okay. “Not 100%” he said.
Happily, they didn’t have to wait long to make up the losses – just a few short days, in fact. The Bay Ridge community they’ve fed for the past nine years has donated over $9,000 to a GoFundMe campaign launched by Tomas. While the goal for the campaign was originally set to $13,000, Tomas said, people from the neighborhood started coming in to give them checks, and they lowered it to $8,500.
That money, Tomas said, will get them a new meat slicer and freezer, which the vandals had damaged in the attack, and will help replace some of the inventory that got destroyed.
As they work to get the place back up and running, they won’t be closing the store. “If we didn’t close for the virus, we’re not gonna close for this,” Tomas said. While they have reduced their hours slightly, they’re staying open to keep serving their community.
“We’re scared,” he said. “But we’re not gonna show that we’re scared. That’s why we haven’t closed.”