While people recently tried operating in Throggs Neck without permits, BID Director Bobby Jaen put his foot down.
“Would I be doing my job if I had vendors here that were illegitimate and that were stealing from businesses that pay? I can’t do that,” Jaen said. “When you come in and you don’t have a permit from the City of New York, it’s not going to happen here.”
The first business was Cousins Maine Lobster, which has trucks all over the city and a big following on social media.
Cousins parked at 3700 East Tremont Ave. in front of TD Bank a few weeks ago and had a line of 100 people. But a week later, it parked on the sidewalk and caused a big commotion, Jaen explained.
Many residents complained to Jaen about this.
“A lot of people are in agreement, we don’t want you to come here with that attitude,” Jaen said.
Jaen spoke with the company and explained he understood they had a permit, but he could not have them on the sidewalk obstructing pedestrians. So they relocated to 3200 East Tremont Ave. outside of the BID.
“All I wanted from them is, hey look, we can negotiate something where we both get what we want,” Jaen said. “You’re making the neighborhood unsafe by being on the sidewalk.”
The second vendor was a man with no permit who had sold racks of clothes and folding tables of toys in front of the Randall Avenue deli for many years. Jaen recalled how a year ago, the owner of the deli asked him to get other stores to stop selling loose cigarettes and he did.
He quickly reminded him of this and said the man selling clothes outside without a permit would hurt the BID. The deli owner agreed.
“I said to him, when you needed us we were there. Now you want to turn around and allow a guy with no permit to sit outside and sell things that are other businesses are selling,” Jaen said.
So Jaen spoke to the gentleman and explained that it was nothing personal, but he had to leave.
Lastly, a cigar vendor popped up a few weeks ago at Randall Avenue and East Tremont without a permit. Jaen told him he could not be there and the duo came to an agreement that he would sell outside of the BID in Throggs Neck.
“The bottom line is we don’t want anyone here that isn’t permitted to be here,” he stressed.
According to Jaen, he felt Throggs Neck didn’t have as many illegal vendors as other parts of the Bronx because he approached them with respect and didn’t involve the cops.
“I cut it out before it became a tumor,” he said.