They’re claiming grocery negligence: Neighbors want deli to stop storing food in garage

Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

They say something fishy is going on.

The city must stop a Prospect-Lefferts Gardens deli owner from store-housing fish and produce in a residential garage, area residents say. The owner of Nostrand Avenue’s Gobwa Exotic Imports — previously Labay Market — is keeping fish and vegetables in an adjacent, Midwood Street garage, but locals say they’re fed up with the smell and garbage and want the city to finally do something about it.

“The garbage and filth and the fact that it’s a garage that they’re using to store people’s foods — crazy,” said Nathaniel Lewis, a neighbor and member of the Midwood Street 300 Block Association, which has filed complaints with the mayor, health department, and the state agriculture department to see if what the owner is doing is even legal — and if not, to shut it down.

But deli and garage owner McDonald Romain says the complaints are a red herring and blamed block association member Asim Muhammad for mounting a quixotic campaign against him.

“This guy has called every agency in the state on me, and we’ve been vindicated,” he said. “It’s an envy situation. He doesn’t want my business. He’s going to shut my business. We comply with all regulations.”

Nineteen block association members have petitioned the mayor, seeking relief from garage’s alleged stench.

“He’s not supposed to use that garage for that purpose,” Muhammad said.

Locals lodged eight complaints toward the garage since 2010 — two of them citing a dirty sidewalk — according to the city’s 311 records.

But the garage is zoned for commercial use, city records show. And state agriculture inspectors found no problems in a Feb. 5 inspection, an agency spokeswoman said.

The market appears to comply with city and state regulations, but smell is having a ripple effect on the neighborhood, Lewis said.

“This morning there were about 20 seagulls — we are not near the sea here on the corner — eating whatever it is that’s dripping down in the gutter,” he said.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Gerard M. from Brownsville says:
"We are not near the sea..."

Brooklyn is part of Long ISLAND, jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean. We shouldn't be surprised to see seagulls taking an opportunity for a free snack.
Feb. 25, 2016, 11:12 am
Me from Bay Ridge says:
I think he meant P-L G isn't right on the water.
Feb. 26, 2016, 6:12 am
Nick from Flatbush says:
March 9, 2016, 12:56 pm

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: