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Minimum Wage Hike Kills Popular Upstate NY Eatery

Minimum Wage Hike Kills Popular Upstate NY Eatery

Bob & Ron’s Fish Fry is closing as predicted months ago.

New York’s new minimum wage is being cited as the main reason that a popular Albany restaurant is closing its doors after serving the community for decades.

Mental Recession reports:

Beloved Upstate Restaurant Closes, Cites Minimum Wage Hike As Major Reason

An Albany area fish fry restaurant is closing its doors after nearly 70 years in business, and the owner is pointing to New York’s $15 minimum wage as a major reason for his establishment’s downfall.

Bob and Ron’s Fish Fry, described by New York Upstate as an “Albany institution” featuring “the best fish fry in the Capital Region,” announced they’d be closing their doors in less than two weeks.

The owners took to social media over the weekend to make the announcement.

A message on Facebook reads:

“It is with great sadness that we regret to inform you that Bob and Ron’s Fish Fry will be closing its Latham location effective 4/30/2016. We thank all of you for your patronage and will miss you all.”

Responding to fan’s of the beloved restaurant, the owners posted their reason for having to shut down Bob and Ron’s.

“To be honest there is no way we could pay the high minimum wage that is coming,” they wrote.

Owner Dan Zonca was featured in a TWC News report when Governor Cuomo first unveiled his plans to enact a $15 minimum wage throughout the state, a plan that recently came to fruition.

Zonca warned that the unilateral minimum wage hike would put him out of business.

“There’s absolutely no way I could take a 52 percent jump in my payroll,” Zonca said, accounting for the basic benefits he provides his employees.

He added, “Cuomo and (Vice-President) Biden are out of their minds!”

CBS News in Albany did a report back in August of last year when the fight over the minimum wage began and profiled Bob & Ron’s. They predicted this would happen:

Minimum wage activists celebrate their victories as more states adopt the higher wage but they’re rarely around to help pick up the pieces when a small business owner loses his or her livelihood.

Your heart also breaks for the people who lose jobs and the community which loses a favorite business.

Hat tip to Rusty Weiss:

Featured image via YouTube.


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They are obviously too greedy.


The Democrats/left do not care about the impact their policies and actions have on people. They only care about their own personal intentions — they want to feel good about themselves. And, to do so, they MUST ignore reality and the harm they cause to other people.

    casualobserver in reply to TX-rifraph. | April 20, 2016 at 10:04 am

    I partially agree that there is the “feel good” quotient they are satisfying. But part of their measure is to find the few who are benefited by their policy. Personally, I’ve had more than a few discussions with friends who will point to those who have been “rescued” from utter disasters by, say, welfare entitlements only to go back into the workforce. And they are right, there are some who get the targeted benefits. But even if it is less than half, many progressives think it a success.

    And the worst part is the tactic they use in their defense. If you disagree you are evil/biased/racist/”pick the term” against those who benefit, no matter how small the minority who do.

      “If you disagree you are evil/biased/racist/”pick the term” against those who benefit…”

      See, that’s the kind of manipulation we have got to stop caring about.

      When called an ‘evil/biased/racist,’ merely reply: “No – YOU’RE an evil/biased/racist.” Works every time.

legacyrepublican | April 20, 2016 at 7:54 am

I am still trying to get around the disconnect these people have. They are so mad at the corporations for making “big money” that they don’t see all they are doing is kicking the little guy.

The irony is that the corporation will scale back how many franchises they have open until they become profitable again. Say, from 15 to 10 in a town the size of Albany.

So, while the corporation may shut down businesses, they will still have open restaurants.

The little guy who has just one restaurant will be forced to shut down because of the costs of doing business and he will lose everything.

    American Human in reply to legacyrepublican. | April 20, 2016 at 10:41 am

    It is a sad commentary on the state of American education in economics in today’s society.
    Thomas Sowell’s Basic Economics should be required reading for every person in the country in every grade each year (except the little guys in elementary).
    Read it, then read it again. Read it to your children and grandchildren.
    Make it a 4 year study in H.S. and College. Anyone with even a modicum of capability can read and understand this book.
    Then, after you’re done, read more of his books. One will never regret having spent time reading Sowell.

    Spiny Norman in reply to legacyrepublican. | April 20, 2016 at 11:55 am

    …they don’t see all they are doing is kicking the little guy.

    The Progressives (sic) have never given a flying f**k about the little guy. Their agenda has been a political power grab from the very beginning. The “little guy” is merely cannon fodder. Small business owners are the New Kulaks whose figurative liquidation is a feature, not a bug. Obasturd made that perfectly clear with his “you didn’t build that” insult.

    It’s easy to explain the disconnect: This is what happens when people who have never, ever worked at a real job for one single day make the laws. McGovern found out too late when he tried to open an Inn:

UnCivilServant | April 20, 2016 at 7:55 am

I’ve been visiting for a while, but never commented before. I’m opposed to the minimum wage nonsense, but I have to contest the assertion that this particular eatery was an “Albany Institution”. I’ve lived down the road from it for years, and the first I’ve ever heard anyone mention its existance was when it announced it was closing.

That said, I doubt it will put a dent in the armored wall of doublethink most people around here seem to have girded their minds in.

    rinardman in reply to UnCivilServant. | April 20, 2016 at 8:22 am

    That said, I doubt it will put a dent in the armored wall of doublethink most people around here seem to have girded their minds in.

    Just to clarify, by “people around here”, are you referring to the people around Albany, or the people around the LI comment section?

    Speaking for myself, I have trouble with singlethink, let alone doublethink.

      UnCivilServant in reply to rinardman. | April 20, 2016 at 8:24 am

      I should have been more clear – “People Around Here” meaning “People Around Albany” where I am geographically located.

    SeanInLI in reply to UnCivilServant. | April 20, 2016 at 8:31 am

    When you stay open for 70 years, you earn the title “institution”. Now, did you grow up in the area, or did you move their recently? If you are some state paid employee making a NYC-adjusted $100k per year, you may be above such crude places, but does not mean everyone in Albany shares your view, and work for a living.

      UnCivilServant in reply to SeanInLI. | April 20, 2016 at 8:37 am

      I wish I made six figures.

      But the fact of the matter is this particular eatery isn’t that great of a poster child for demonstrating the damage the minimum wage does. It may have been around for seven decades, but if the customer base had already dwindled, people are not going to actually notice its departure.

        I bet if you depended on that place to make your living you’d think it matters.

          UnCivilServant in reply to Paul. | April 20, 2016 at 8:58 am

          Yes, I would. I’ve probably been jaded and burnt out by arguing against the brick wall that is the rest of the population of the capital district. Every time I outline the rational arguments against the minimum wage I’ve gotten one of four responses: a stalwart cry of “Nuh-uh”, circling back to an older talking point, calling me a shill owned by X, and the occasional well of fresh stupidity that leaves me too dumbfounded to compose a response.

          Perhaps I’m looking for something they can’t deny, and deluding myself into thinking there’s anything they can’t deny.

    tom swift in reply to UnCivilServant. | April 20, 2016 at 9:13 am

    Cool mega-retro sign, though.

    Doesn’t exactly say to me “Eat Here”, but it does say “Buy the Post Card”. Especially if not all of the light bulbs are burned out.

The Ruling Class picks winners and losers, who’s in and who’s out, until they run out of kulak property.

“I can’t worry about every undercapitalized business” — Hillary Clinton testifying before Congress on the effects of Nationalized Health Care.

    SeanInLI in reply to m11_9. | April 20, 2016 at 8:40 am

    She has no shame.

    If a private company has almost unlimited costs, yet is prevented by the government from raising rates to meet the government mandated cost icreases, and only has $2 billion in cash saved to operate at a loss with no hope for profitability, thats not the governments fault. They should have squirreled away billions more of private investor money to waste on operating in perpetual red ink.

The real minimum wage is zero.

The push for a minimum wage hike to $15 is to get a hike in the prevailing wages of public sector unions. All public sector and some private sector union have their wages tied to the minimum wage. When it goes up, so do their wages.

Unions could care less about the guy flipping burgers, they’re just pawns and when those flippers are out of a job because the minimum wage is legally 15 dollars, the unions will still have their prevailing wage hike.

    UnCivilServant in reply to gwsjr425. | April 20, 2016 at 9:02 am

    All public sector and some private sector union have their wages tied to the minimum wage.

    This is not true.

    I am one of those awful people who hold a government job because it’s virtually the last employer left. There is no connection in our pay scale to the minimum wage whatsoever. It’s a fixed chart and changes to the minimum mandated wage only come into play if they overrun the bottom grades (which could actually happen with this absurdity).

      pyawakit in reply to UnCivilServant. | April 21, 2016 at 9:33 am

      It is not tied to government jobs. I is tied to many contracts in the private sector (where unions BELONG). Many “civil servants” (government workers) have NO concept of the give and take of the private sector. It is a different culture. As Dan Aykroyd stated in Ghostbusters. “You’ve never worked in the private sector. They expect results.”

The threat (eventual reality) of a major hike in the minimum wage is one of the top three reasons I’m actively working towards selling my business. Any restaurant operates on a razor-thin margin, and this simply makes it futile to continue.

The bigger chains who are pursuing kiosk ordering will be the face of fast food in the future. Kiosks are attractive on several fronts: cheaper, accurate, reliable, no training and retraining, secure cash transactions, and more if I took some time and thought of them.

This is the pandering that we have learned to expect from liberal politicians. They know that labor is worth what the market will pay but they also know that the minimum wage earner will vote for them if they make this absurd push for higher wages. As with most goods that we buy today, most come from offshore suppliers because of cheaper labor. Now the fast food industry will go to automation and consolidation of their food line to eliminate extra employees. This once again shows that liberals think in terms of their intent and not of the results of their actions.

    rinardman in reply to inspectorudy. | April 20, 2016 at 11:30 am

    This once again shows that liberals think in terms of their intent and not of the results of their actions.

    rinardman in reply to inspectorudy. | April 20, 2016 at 11:33 am

    This once again shows that liberals think in terms of their intent and not of the results of their actions.

    If they get bad results, they just view it as an opportunity for the government to get even bigger, and spend more money to fix the problem.


It doesn’t negate the impact on the owners, employees, or costomers, of course, but my only quibble with the post is that Albany is not “upstate.” Albany is as much a part of NY’s government rackets as the beltway is to DC’s. Its press, media, local government agencies and administration are the legislature’s handmaidens and attached to the government at the hip.

A two month look-back would almost certainly turn up numerous commentaries, editorials, columns, and local pols all supporting the minimum wage law. Cuomo, Shelly Silver, and rest of the bums are to true upstaters what Obama and the beltway crowd are to fly over country; just as arrogant, just as corrupt and crooked, just as wrong and destructive, just as disliked, and damn near impossible to get rid of.

Leftism at work: working to destroy the middle class.

Personally, I think minimum-wage laws are a usurpation of power. Applying brute force to the economy in that way is not a power granted by any foundation document of our country or states that I know of. It is tyranny — politically correct, self-righteous tyranny, but tyranny just the same.

The minimum wage increase shows the utter disregard the left has for real-world consequences of their ideology. All they care about is the momentary frisson of cheap morality they get when they take noble-sounding actions at little immediate personal cost. My esteemed leftist governor Jerry Brown admitted this in his signing statement for CA’s $15.00 minimum, saying something to the effect of:

“Economically, minimum wages may not make sense.” […] “Morally and socially and politically, they (minimum wages) make every sense because it binds the community together and makes sure that parents can take care of their kids in a much more satisfactory way[…]”

Yeah, right. Oddly our genius Jesuit governor missed the moral elephant in the room about using law to destroy the livelihood of the productive to benefit a political class more likely to vote favorably. Ah well, we feel good about ourselves.

Evidently, until we fully experience the darkness of top-to-bottom leftist government, we will not create enough serious citizens to save ourselves.

the real minimum wage is $0/Hour

Workers are not forced to seek employment from businesses that would be below “minimum wage”. Workers still have a choice where they work last time I checked. However, businesses are forced to pay wages independent of the productivity of the worker. The Left sees businesses as wealth transfer sites…. to workers and the State with ugly looks at the business owner for wanting to make a living beyond being a welfare creator. Being a worker is a “right”, owning a business is a “privilege”… condoned but not encouraged by the State.

It appears that the second location in Latham is closing. The original location in Albany closed last November:

It appears that labor costs were the least of their problems.