All Baristas at Upper East Side Cafe Resign in Protest Over Jewish Owner's Support for Israel as Customers Offer to Help by Working Shifts

The cafe owner displayed an Israeli flag in the establishment and initiated a fundraiser for Magen David Adom, which is the Israeli Red Cross.

A Jewish-owned Manhattan coffee shop was on the verge of closure for the day on Tuesday after its anti-Israeli baristas quit. However, members of the Jewish community rallied together, volunteering to cover shifts and forming long lines around the block to purchase coffee, ultimately saving the shop from shutting its doors.

Aaron Dahan, the owner of Caffe Aronne, found himself short-staffed on Tuesday morning after he tried to talk to two of them about the 'Free Palestine' pins they wore to work. Instead, the baristas chose to walk off the job right at that time in protest, becoming the latest instance of staff leaving due to the café's pro-Israel stance.

Revolt and Support

Aaron Dahan
Aaron Dahan, the owner of the cafe X

Dahan, 25, said five baristas have left their jobs since the terrorist attack on Israel on October 7, in which Hamas massacred 1,400 Israelis and abducted over 200 civilians, including at least 13 American citizens and 23 Thai farm laborers.

The cafe owner displayed an Israeli flag in the establishment and initiated a fundraiser for Magen David Adom, which is the Israeli Red Cross.

"Our staff was young. They think they know everything, liberal, college-educated," Dahan, who is Jewish, told The Post on Tuesday.

"They think we're supporting genocide, we're supporting colonialism. They know the keywords but they don't really know what they mean."

Dahan said he was disappointed at the resignation of his staff, whom he considered a part of his family. Before they resigned, Dahan tried to have a conversation with his baristas, making an effort to sit down and address the differing viewpoints.

Caffe Aronne
Long queue seen outside Caffe Aronne after all baristas resigned X

"We knew our staff. We knew they were thinking these things. I said, 'Let's go for dinner. Let's sit. Let's ask questions. Let's learn. Let's realize that we're not all here trying to kill each other," Dahan said.

His mother, Peggy Dahan, 50, stepped in and took charge of the store after receiving a call from her son earlier in the day to close down the café for the day. The establishment had only been operational for 10 months.

"He called me up. He said, 'Mom, I'm doing a private event. I need to close the shop. I said, 'Aaron, I'm not letting anybody close your shop,'" Peggy told The New York Post.

Support from Others

Peggy had to quickly familiarize herself with operating the cash register and learning tasks such as preparing cold brew and using the espresso machine.

Caffe Aronne
Customers seen outside Caffe Aronne X

Around 70 people were lined up outside the shop, extending down Lexington Avenue and 71st Street around 1 p.m. Many of them were holding Israel's flag.

The store has seen a notable increase in customers following the news about their baristas, including local doctors and rabbis who stopped by, encouraging others to buy gift cards and patronize the menu offerings.

"It's insane what's going on," she said. "What happened this morning is I got all these texts from people I don't even know saying, 'Peggy, we're coming.' I walk in, two people were hugging me at 8:30 a.m.

Many customers at Caffe Aronne offered the establishment after all the baristas quit to help X

"Now there's a line around the corner. It just shows what an amazing community we have."

Bina Dabbah, 57, who lives in the neighborhood, immediately entered the café upon hearing the news to offer Peggy help. She volunteered to help with tasks such as washing dishes and mopping the floors in support of the café.

Caffe Aronne
Caffe Aronne X

"Whatever she needs," she said.

"All this antisemitism is very frightening," she continued. "I know the baristas here and it's just very upsetting that all these young people are – I don't know what they are, ignorant? Hateful? Brainwashed? It's very scary this is what's happening in this country, but I hope somebody knows how to fix it because it's really scary."

Peggy also suggested that those wanting to show support for the shop consider making donations to Magen David Adom, Israel's Red Cross. Caffe Aronne aims to raise $36,000 to acquire a medicycle for the organization, which would aid in saving lives.