Brooklyn pizzeria owner spent 60k to do what the city refused to do

Moved by the “embarrassing” and “disgusting” condition of his neighborhood, a Brooklyn restauranteur offered a slice of goodwill and invested $60,000 to do what the city wouldn’t.

Representing a microcosm of President Joe Biden’s America, rising crime and the illegal alien crisis were hardly the only problems facing the Big Apple. Appalled by the amount of refuse in his New York City neighborhood, pizzeria owner Sean Feeney took matters into his own hand and launched the “clean streets” initiative.

Speaking with the New York Post’s Kirsten Fleming, the owner of Fini Pizza and other restaurants in Williamsburg, Brooklyn explained how he has worked since 2022 to tackle area filth, committing 3% of revenue in the process.

“I lived [in Williamsburg] since 2016. I saw the deterioration in cleanliness,” said Feeney, a 43-year-old former credit trader and investor. “It’s unacceptable, it’s embarrassing and it’s disgusting.”

Despite considerable fines for getting caught littering in New York City the persistent problem wasn’t going away merely reporting to 311. Within the initial months of opening the pizzeria, the owner said he had polled his customers about what they would like to see improved and, “…94% of our response rate was cleaner streets. When you hear guest after guest, neighbor after neighbor, comment on it, I said, ‘Let’s do something about it.'”

What started with buying five garbage cans, each at a cost of $220, and marking them with a “clean streets” motto and his own restaurant’s crown logo had since grown into a collection of 50 cans with 30 in Williamsburg and another 20 distributed through Downtown Brooklyn.

“The mission of Fini is to deliver good days together. We’ve done that through serving delicious pizza and Italian ice. But we also did it by committing 3% of our revenue to invest it back into our neighbors,” outlined the restauranteur who told the Post that $60,000 had been spent on the cans and their maintenance.

“We noticed overnight that it was cleaner, so we kept adding cans. We maintained them and had pick-up every night,” Feeney said before recounting how there had initially been a snag about a month into the initiative from the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) which hit them with fines for placing the receptacles too close to the curbs.

A meeting with DSNY Commissioner Jessica Tisch, whose family owns the Loews Corporation, cleared the matter and resulted in the fines being removed. “She gave us her blessing.”

“We appreciate all businesses that are doing their part to help revolutionize the way trash is managed in NYC,” a DSNY spokesperson told the Post.

“Pizzerias are part of a neighborhood tapestry and they have a great responsibility to bring people together,” expressed Feeney while Fleming asserted, “In a well-functioning society, it shouldn’t be a responsibility of private companies who already pay through the nose to do the job of city agencies. But given the current dysfunctional state of NYC, and the belt-tightening effects of the migrant crisis, Gotham’s newest heroes won’t be born in a voting booth.”

The restauranteur expressed hope that others would take similar initiative and asked, “What if we were to incentivize other companies? How do we enter into a bigger public private partnership to tackle this crisis and support the city that’s going through a really tough time?”

Kevin Haggerty

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