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French Epi Owner Says She was Blindsided By Polish Nationalist’s Appearance

French Epi, located at 123 Greenpoint Ave. (Google Maps)

June 7, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan

The owner of the Greenpoint restaurant French Epi says her business is being unfairly slammed following the appearance of a controversial Polish nationalist at the venue Wednesday night.

Robert Winnicki, the leader of Poland’s nationalist political party, the National Movement, spoke at the restaurant Wednesday after his appearances at two catholic churches in Brooklyn were canceled, following community pushback from both residents and local officials.

French Epi owner Beata Eider, who was not at the restaurant Wednesday night, said that she had never agreed to host Winnicki for a speaking event.

She said that a reservation for 15 people had been made for that night, but there was no indication that Winnicki was part of the group. The staff soon discovered after the group arrived that many more people kept coming in. 

Eider, who ran the restaurant with her husband until his death in September, said that she began getting calls on Wednesday night from her employees about Winnicki and the crowd taking over the restaurant. She instructed her employees to try to kick them out.

“They were not listening,” Eider said of the crowd. “It was really hard.”

Eider said that the organizers of the event grabbed the restaurant’s microphone, which is kept beside the bar for occasional musical performances, and gave it to Winnicki to speak.

“They were doing it like they were in their own private room,” Eider said. “They weren’t even concerned with what we say.”

Police were on the scene during the event, but Eider said she is not sure who called them.

Eider was in the process of closing the restaurant down prior to the event, since she said it is difficult to run it alone.

After the heated backlash stemming from Wednesday night’s event, Eider has shut the restaurant down for good.

“I didn’t expect I’d finish like this,” she said.

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8 Comments

Truth comes

Wow back lash for the Freedom of Speech. We now see how tolerant these Liberals are.

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Anne Stephanie Konieczny

Please, get a grip. This is not about Freedom of Speech being trampled. This is about disrespect of a PRIVATE BUSINESS and its COMMERCIAL LEASED/OWNED PROPERTY. That group or any group has the constitutional right to meet and speak on the public street corner if they want (and have the necessary permit, etc.). This is not that!

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Kate

How do you know he was an exteremist? Do you believe everything your hear or read? Did you read any of his speaches, or hear interviews? Do you know that mud slinging is the preferred way of destroying a political opponent? People are like sheep these days, pretty frightening.

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They are a fascist group...

Not saying Trump Lovers are eager to defend the extreme right-wing, but this group signed an ideological agreement with the neo-fascist National Radical Camp.

If you knew more you wouldn’t be so mad, or at least “speeches” wouldn’t be a spelling challenge for you.

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paul

Said end for this couple. They really never fit in to the area, not hipster enough for it and not polish enough for it. A Mexican hipster restaurant across the street is packed every nite and a polish restaurant also across the street is also packed. A few friends who went to FE told me the food was good and people/service nice.

As for the right wing extremist (and it goes for left wing extremists too), I believe in free speech but they should be offered sewers as a venue not public restaurants.

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I agree

anyone i disagree with should not be allowed to speak in public…all this extremist socialism should be forced into the sewers…we need a progressive constitution…no more silly ideas like political free speech

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Anne Stephanie Konieczny

stop being thick… read below or see above, your choice:
Please, get a grip. This is not about Freedom of Speech being trampled. This is about disrespect of a PRIVATE BUSINESS and its COMMERCIAL LEASED/OWNED PROPERTY. That group or any group has the constitutional right to meet and speak on the public street corner if they want (and have the necessary permit, etc.). This is not that!

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