July 28, 2017 By Nathaly Pesantez
Ottomanelli & Sons, the famed West Village butcher shop, is bringing problems across the East River to another famed but unaffiliated butcher shop—Ottomanelli & Sons in Woodside.
The Ottomanelli & Sons Meat Market on Bleecker Street was the site of a racial incident in April, when Joe Ottomanelli, a butcher and owner of the shop, handed Victor Sheppard, a black delivery man, a noose made from yellow rope, the New York Daily News reported.
Since then, the social media pages of the Bleecker Street meat shop have been hit with negative reviews—a method that has quickly gained traction over the years that allows people to collectively sabotage a business.
But a slew of negative reviews and comments have also hit the Facebook and Yelp pages of Ottomanelli & Sons Prime Meat Shop and Wild Game, the full name of the separate, independent Woodside Avenue butcher shop where the incident did not occur, but whose owner is Frank Ottomanelli, a cousin of Joe Ottomanelli.
“We haven’t really spoken about it,” Frank said. “But it should have never happened to start with.”
Although Frank and Joe are related by family, Frank says he and his cousin operate totally separate businesses.
“They run their shop, we run our shop—we’re both very busy.” Frank said. “But what happened there we have no control over.”
Frank first heard about the incident via the Daily News. Joe, according to the Daily News, claimed he gave the make-shift noose “as a joke” to Sheppard.
“I wish it never happened, I can tell you that,” Frank said.
On Facebook, “S.Ottomanelli & Sons Prime Meats”, the name for the Woodside shop, has amassed a 1.7 star rating since April, and a string of comments by people angered by the incident, some genuinely mixing up the two locations, others joining the two shops and damning Frank for his familial relationship to Joe.
“Racist owner thought it was funny to give his black delivery driver a rope tied in a noose,” one user wrote on the Yelp page for the Woodside butcher shop.
“I hope you file for bankruptcy and end up homeless,” another user’s review on Facebook reads. “You, you racists, are the scum of the earth!”
Frank has responded to most of these online reviews by trying to make it clear that he and his operation had nothing to do with incident.
“The offensive incident in question did not occur at Ottomanelli & Sons Prime Meat Shop & Wild Game in Woodside NY,” a portion of the Woodside shop’s response reads. “It happened at a meat market on Bleeker Street in Manhattan which is owned and operated by a different Ottomanelli.”
He added: “We remain committed to providing friendly and courteous service for all. While we regret the confusion, we appreciate the support of our customers, and concerned consumers, during this time.”
Some users who misidentified the shop where the April incident occurred apologized after reading Frank’s response.
“Well sorry about that,” the same Facebook user replied. “Maybe you guys should close this page until this is over and contact fb to see about getting the bad reviews taken off.”
But other users stood by their negative reviews, with one asking whether it’s a coincidence that both shops have the same last names or if there is a personal or business affiliation.
Frank, who runs the butcher shop on 60-05 Woodside Avenue and a restaurant specializing in burgers the next block over, says the negative comments that have hit the shop have mostly been online.
“Nothing really has happened with the shop,” he said. “No one has given us comments at the store level.”
Frank added that he just doesn’t want him and his shop to be subject to something they didn’t do.
Sheppard quit his job after the incident, and the Bleecker Street shop’s meat distributor cut ties with the shop, according to the Daily News.
Joe Ottomanelli turned himself into police early May, and was booked on one count of aggravated harassment in the second degree, according to the Daily News. An order of protection was also issued, barring Joe from making contact with Sheppard.
“We’re just not known for this,” Frank said. “It’s an isolated incident that should have never happened. We condemn it.”
Dis guy iz berry funnie
Wow so far a black ,a Jewish, a Polish, a lesbian, an eyetalian, where is the Irish? This is the makings of a good joke– a black, a Jew, a Pollock, a lesbian, walk into an Italian butcher, who gets served first? None of them the eyetalian butcher is in jail for making a joke! Bada bing hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I’m an idiot!!!!!
Terry you really need to hit the spelling books. Take a course, its never too late.
@Stan — you can’t reason with these dum dums that say “it’s just a joke” … they are sad people.
I’m glad this whole situation is not about our neighborhood, but rather the West Village or whereever the unaffiliated butcher is.
I’m a jew and someone played a hilarous joke on me by pinning a Star of David on me, and leading me into a gas chamber! It reminded me of the holocaust. LOL.
I can’t understand why this fellow getting handed a noose would be so upset. Big deal — black people were enslaved and lynched. Lighten up! Geesh.
Anyhow. This happened at a separate store not in Woodside (or Sunnyside for that matter) and people should know that. Great comments, everyone.
Stan, very well said and a great point. I think these people commenting that it’s just a joke just show their ignorance and insensitivity and probably don’t understand the difference between assault and battery. Assault is a crime and handing someone a noose can be seen as a threat even if they were not balck.
Next I’ll be, I’m traumatized. I’m suing. I’m having nightmares. Some people go to great lengths to get out of work
Please!! Go Sit Down!!
Yes? Years learn how to spell terry cant
Terry shops there so much over the yes that he can’t spell the name correctly.
Love the meat sticks at Ottomanelli’s.
yeah? you think this is bad, try going thru life with a name similar to the most loathed person on this website
I have shopped at Ottamanelis of woodside on & off for years….the guys there have been nothing but professional & polite, very helpful as well…. the guy that is giving the other owner ( Joe) in Manhatten a hard time/ …. is more like the acuser is looking for a payday….( we all know it.. plain & simple… the guy in Manhatten is running a business there for years…I am sure it was a stupid joke.. plain & simple….stupid yes… but only messing with the delivery guy…( give me a break.. and now the ottomaneli of woodside has the pay the price? Why? They are 2 separate businesses ..( Related or not).. SMH../ P.S. and I am a gay women.. ( they know it.. & never have I got lesser service then any other customer coming in … NEVER!
Go to sorriso on 30ave @ 45st
Really , arrested?
tell me about it! try goign thru life with a name similar the most hated man on sunnysidepost.com
I am in no way conneted to the moron
If you make one more defamatory comment I will have my lawyer and cousin Mel loco sue you. Clam up.
I’m afraid to comment, I may have to turn myself in.
OBH–your a clown, why don’t you change your handle to mr.pc. It’s a joke not a crime. Locker room humour no more no less. Stop with the pc already. I agree wit double standard, no people of color get arrested for their Caucasian references.
no, they just get shot by cops
You’re idea of a joke is sick and twisted.
Either way, too bad that people are confusing to the two locations. The Woodside location should not have to lose business.
I’m the real one. I use commas.
Actually, it is a crime. Grow up and be responsible 🙂
Not surprised the commenters here don’t see a problem with handing a noose to a black person. Besides being offensive, it’s hardly a joke … “People used to be punched for the color of their skin …. Haha … Get it?”
The owners in Woodside should respond to the confused reviewers to set the record straight that they are a different business. I’d contact yelp reps too.
Stop using my screen name you jackass. Make up your own.
The west side location is on Bleecker (not ‘Bleeker’).
Love there sandwiches 5 stars
When the race card is in play, it doesn’t matter if you’re guilty or not.
Go call sharpton
I agree. Guy probably laughed at first and then said maybe I can get a payday out of this. Also come on, getting arrested over a joke. BS. If it was a black guy making an eye_Italian joke do you think the black guy would ha e been arrested
It’s not the same thing. It’s not a double standard.
EFFF UUU it’s the same exact thing
Go to iavorones if you don’t like it.
Hahahahaha . People should loosen up it’s a joke. People tell polish jokes all the time I don’t get offended.
shopped at this meat shop a few times. so far they were very nice, never experienced any harsh or any racial slurs.
According to the logic of those negative and ignorant commenters who are holier than thou, then: If a mom’s son was a drug dealer, then the mother must be a drug dealer too.
So many misguided sheep in this world and not enough ‘Sheppards’! (Punchline)
This is a good place with friendly staff. If you have never been there, It is worth trying.
This is really newsworthy? The Woodside owner wasn’t even involved.
The point of the article is that they were not involved and yet they are being trashed online by the usual cadre of SJW.
Yes it is newsworthy. A local business is being damaged by gossip and it needs local support.
.music industry too
I shop at the Woodside store frequently and the staff and products both excellent! How unfortunate they are penalized. Maybe the raters can go back and correct their injustice:)