A crowd of protesters pounded on the windows of the outdoor dining area at upscale Soho French restaurant Balthazar as people dined there Thursday night, video shows.
Dozens of demonstrators crowded the restaurant’s outdoor space — some repeatedly banging on the windows in support — as one of them, identified as Qween Jean, delivered a speech, video originally tweeted by the Protest_NYC page shows.
“So many black and brown indigenous community members are often left out,” Qween Jean can be heard saying. “They are often neglected, left out, unhoused, without food, without medication, without medical care, without mental health access. And we’re here with the message because we believe that black lives matter.”
Police could not officially confirm on Friday whether anyone from the restaurant filed any complaints, and the extent of any damage was unclear.
But the NYPD News page fired off a tweet late Thursday, with a video outside a restaurant that appears to be Balthazar in Soho.
“Tonight, in Lower Manhattan demonstrators purposely caused property damage to a local restaurant by breaking several windows while patrons were eating dinner,” the tweet says. “Small businesses need our support, vandalism is not the answer especially during these trying times.”
Balthazar was closed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and owner Keith McNally didn’t make plans to reopen until Gov. Andrew Cuomo raised the indoor dining capacity to 50 percent earlier this month.
Meanwhile, at another nearby restaurant, Omen Azen, a Japanese eatery on Thompson Street near Prince Street, police confirmed that protesters from Black Trans Lives Matter damaged the outdoor dining area around 10:30 p.m.
A manager of the restaurant, who only gave his first name, Michael, told the Post protesters in the street broke about six plexiglass windows.
“We had customers at the time and luckily we didn’t have any injuries to the customers,” he said, adding that employees were fixing the damage Friday.
“We weren’t really expecting it, because we kind of assumed people are aware that we’ve been going through difficult times, especially the restaurant business, and it just kind of came out of nowhere,” Michael added.
Police also confirmed that demonstrators damaged the roof of a police cruiser near Columbus Park by standing on top of it.