Reuven Blau, New York Post, November 9, 2009
East Harlem is not on the menu.
Area residents are outraged that some East Side restaurants refuse to deliver 15 blocks north to their predominantly minority neighborhood–yet are willing to trek a mile to fill orders on the wealthy Upper East Side.
The restaurants include Chinese Mirch on Second Avenue between 94th and 95th streets, and One Fish Two Fish on Madison Avenue and 97th Street.
Both establishments refused to deliver dinner 15 blocks north to East Harlem when called by a Post reporter posing as a customer. But they readily offered to make a longer, 20-block trek in the opposite direction.
The iron curtain of cuisine “smacks of racism,” said Harlem state Sen. Bill Perkins.
“The difference between north and south is black and white,” he said.
The manager of One Fish Two Fish denied any bias, even though his eatery refused to make a delivery to 112th Street and Madison Avenue, but did fill the reporter’s order farther away on 77th Street.
Chinese Mirch refused to send food to 110th Street and Second Avenue but had no problem going to faraway 75th Street.
One Fish’s manager, a woman who called herself Veronica and would not give a last name, maintained that the seafood place does deliver to East Harlem. “We are like an urban Cheers,” she said.
“We cater to an African-American and Hispanic clientele. We are a multicultural restaurant. We do not discriminate according to areas.”
She said the eatery’s delivery radius extends only 10 blocks in each direction, which is why the order may have been refused.
But the Post was able to fill an order 20 blocks south. And Brian Connolly, 42, claimed he had a similar experience.
The city Human Rights Commission said that it would investigate.