Our Concerns

We are former servers of Juventino (known formerly as Get Fresh Table & Market), writing to inform you of the abusive behavior we have experienced at this establishment.

The food is seductive, but behind this restaurant’s charming facade lies a toxic work environment where employees are publicly berated, servers are paid less than the legal tipped minimum wage, 17-hour work-days without breaks are demanded, and young women are subjected to unwanted sexual advances behind the closed and locked doors of Juventino’s office.

We understand that it is bold to come out publicly with our concerns and experiences.

Juventino, however, has consistently refused to acknowledge or take responsibility for his actions, even choosing to spread falsehoods about former employees who left after feeling mistreated.

We believe Juventino is doing a disservice not only to his servers of the past and present, but to his incredibly hardworking and honorable cooks, and ultimately to you, the unwitting guest whose patronage sustains his business and misbehavior.

Thank you for your time and support,                                                                                         22 Former Juventino Employees

 

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97 Responses to Our Concerns

  1. Kristin P. says:

    Hello, my name is Kristin. I’m an editorial producer with a national daytime show in nyc. I wanted to chat with one of you as I’m very interested in exploring a story with you. Please email me for more info. Thank you, Kristin P.

    • Emma says:

      emma.m.marks@gmail.com

      I experienced a closed-door, drinking wine in the office incident of misconduct in the summer of 2009. I worked at Get Fresh for about 5 months when I was 19. My friend was also fired when I quit, and when she threatened to take legal action on behalf of the women she’d talked to about his misconduct, he wrote our remaining paychecks (which he had previously refused to do) and we never heard about him again until this blog. I hope you got your story. Otherwise, contact me and I’ll gladly talk to you.

  2. MH says:

    I worked in the restaurant industry when I was younger and I see things haven’t changed – egomaniac chefs, sexual harassment and discrimination. Kudos on speaking out – specifically about this chef/restaurant and bringing attention to this issue as a whole. I don’t live in the area, but if I did I would gladly boycott this establishment to support your cause. Best of luck!

  3. Chris says:

    Wow. This is remarkable and disgusting.. we’re frequent patrons of Juventino, as we live down the street and go there at least once a week. But never again. I’m sorry to hear what it was like behind closed doors.. I hope your story spreads wide and far. Best of luck.

  4. im reposting the comment i left on fucked in park slope here, so happy you girls are speaking out!

    “YES!
    i worked here (when it was still get fresh) and nearly jumped out of my chair when i saw this article.

    so happy girls are speaking out and rebelling against this dude. he was awful to me .. during my shifts and then afterward when i was promised to make about $700 a week and have a full schedule- never heard from them again. i never spoke to anyone who worked there afterward either.. thinking i was the only one taken advantage of and admittedly took it personally.

    this was my first job i landed after moving from jersey. been in the industry since i was 16, never felt worse about myself while on the floor as i did while working for this guy.

    this is awesome.”

  5. Norman says:

    I’ve been there tons of times too, but never again. Thanks for sharing this information. Best of luck to you all.

  6. John says:

    Yup. I’m done going here.

  7. saffronrose says:

    I had the misfortune of being harassed by Juventino at another restaurant years ago. While I am disgusted to see that he is still at it, I am thrilled to see that you are all banding together and telling the truth. He has no business running a restaurant or any other business.

  8. Fio. says:

    Boycott restaurants like these, and any and every place where people try to make “culture” out of sexual harassment. Especially people of power over their employees. I am surprised none of the other male employees have come out or supported your petition, let’s NOT MAKE THIS OKAY in any workplace, let’s not give these crooked people business. I support you 100%, and I wish more people ousted corrupt bosses.

    • EM says:

      There were not many other male employees coming out about this because Juventino almost exclusively hired women. In my time he enjoyed referring to the restaurant as “juventino’s harem.”

  9. Brigida San Martin says:

    Congratulations to you guys!! I think it is admirable and brave for you to do this. I too use to work as a waitress and bartender in a restaurant for about 10 years and can definitely relate to getting harrassed day in and day out and having managers act like it’s nothing and just sweep things under the rug. Good for you and wish you the best of luck!!! If you guys get a petition going, I will gladly sign and help to get you signatures as well. All the best, Brigida.

  10. Anonymous says:

    You know I am sorry you girls feel this way about Juventino. I was not there for any of the situations but I am familiar with the man, and dually familiar with the industry. As servers, no offense to you women but socially when your placed in a role, especially where mood, looks, attitude, actions directly influence how much money you make, your going to subconsciously be more feminine, more, intoxicating, maybe inadvertently show more signals then you mean to.

    Ive worked in kitchens as a cook, I have worked front of the house in high end to low end restaurants, and recently the past decade ive worked in offices where the majority is women. And believe me even the biggest prudes depending on delivery have laughed at the raunchiest jokes. And hell, i have worked with plenty of women that have talked way more dirty then i would dare. My point being is that its not always the guys fault, he may just be misreading signs. As for romance in the workplace, it should be discouraged, but honestly alot of moms and dads have their stories start at the workplace.

    Also should men and women be treated differently in the workplace? I don’t think so, but unfortunately they are. Women are more sensitive, if you don’t think so your kidding yourself. If your right now thinking im a sexist pig, well you might just be the 1 of 100 “stronger willed” ones. But ive seen female servers walk up to tables crying their eyes out. Ive trained plenty of men and women who ive had to explain the same procedure or item to them so many times i just want to smack them. But In the same difference when i get frustrated and my speech becomes short, abrupt and “mean” ive had just about every woman ive trained go running to my boss to complain that im so mean, that I don’t like them ect ect ect. I don’t hold grudges and im only mean when i have to explain myself 5 times or more. But again my point here is that meanness is a bar from 1 – 10, if you wanna find out what mean is you should work for my last boss. His mean scale tops out at 45 from 1-10.

    Lastly as a boss you have to have a certain degree of micromanagement and consequence dishing skills. If your always nice to your team, they are going to walk all over you. If you yell at them for screwing up they are going to talk shit about you. Just like this whole website. Obviously Juventino isnt so bad to work for, otherwise youd be like the guy who shot his boss last week.

    Sorry your boss came onto you, that i agree is wrong, there should be a degree of respect there. But i feel that’s the only argument that’s admissible here. As for your “whole story” it has very few details of any mistreatment… Actions have consequences, on both sides.

    • saffronrose says:

      Hi, Juventino.

      You’re busted. You got away with it for MUCH longer than you should have. Your constant harassment of women is no one’s fault but your own. Eat it.

    • jeffy1951 says:

      Your rationalization of this Juventino’s behavior is weak and so is your command of the English language. I notice that YOU are the only one who posted as “anonymous”……is it because you are a troll or are you Juventino . I find it hard , almost impossible to believe that there would be so many corroborating stories about his behavior from so many different women who DIDN’T post anonymously and would also take time out of their lives to create a website devoted to this mentally troubled individual. “Anonymous” are you Juventino?

    • Mary says:

      You, kind sir, are an asshole. The way this man treated his employees is not because of anything the servers did. It’s because he is also an asshole.

    • leee says:

      your first paragraph (esp. using words like “intoxicating”) made it very clear that you’re probably creepy irl. the rest of it had no real insight or substance (5 paragraphs basically just saying the service industry is rough, suck it up). it just sounded like someone who likes to hear themselves talk.

    • JF says:

      Anonymous,

      The jury is still out as to whether or not you are just as awful a person as Juventino, but you are certainly just as stupid. I’m sure you’re a card carrying member of the “Girls Who Dress Slutty are Asking to be Raped” Club. How are those meetings going?

      Your rant was exhausting but I don’t think this is the forum in which to work out your mommy issues–consider getting a therapist. Additionally, since you said it, I can’t believe one of your employees hasn’t shot you yet.

      Sincerely,

      1 of 100 “stronger willed ones.” (Careful! We’re everywhere.)

    • Amber says:

      “Also should men and women be treated differently in the workplace?”

      Oh, so you sexual harrass your male employees as well? Great.

  11. EM says:

    I also worked here for 6 months. I couldn’t believe the way we were treated and I couldn’t believe no one in the neighborhood knew. Juventino was a monster to everyone on the staff.

    Keep fighting the good fight. I would love to see him get what he deserves.

  12. Being a former colleague at the Institute of Culinary Education (where he was fired for sexual harassment)…I am not surprised….he was a predator bordering on pathological with his behavior

  13. Anonymous says:

    Who in their right mind would sidle up next to this hideous pig?!?!?

  14. Anonymous deserves a thought out response. says:

    Anonymous’ response was terribly weak. Way to not know how to argue your point.

    Bullet point objections:
    -As a professional chef and a boss, no offense to Juventino but “socially” when one is placed in a chef and boss role, especially where professionalism, guidance, virtue, moral attitude, proper actions are expected of you and directly influence the people you have working for you, are you going to (sub)consciously be more menacing harassing, demeaning, offensive, creepy, inappropriate and maybe “quite inadvertently” show more signals of power and sexual harassment than you mean to?

    -How could it be that Juventino, thought ALL these women were sending him mixed signals? I mean… wait a minute, you mean this man had every single female employee there sending him mixed signals? And wait. After the first waitress rejected his advances and quit, and so did the next one and the one after the next 22, he STILL thought the same way? That every woman kept trying to come onto him? The Married Boss? Wow, sounds like he really thought of himself as some Adonis looking, piece of mana man piece.

    -I’ve worked as a waitress and hostess and have worked with cooks and bosses that have treated me in the utmost professional and respectful way possible, never have I been touched inappropriately nor had anyone neither from the staff nor management make any passes at me. And because a woman laughs at a joke, it doesn’t mean she’s hitting on you, you moron. When comedians say raunchy jokes and you laugh at them, believe me, they don’t think nor do they expect the audience to be hitting on them, nor infer anything sexually. Nor does it mean it’s okay for a person in a professional work environment (such as a restaurant) to think it’s okay to abuse your position of power over your females employees in ways as the ones described.

    -PS: This was in no way romance in the workplace, I am sure your mother wasn’t pursued by her ugly power tripping egotistical creepy boss who after repeated and failed attempts eventually caved into his advances and made you. I severely doubt it. This is called sexual harassment, my Anonymous friend. And if you think sexual harassment in the workplace and romance are by any means synonymous, then perhaps you may also share Juventino’s “confused” and “poor” judgment, and should be enlightened.

    -One thing is being “mean” another one is being aggressive, offensive, and harassing. I’m sorry is this blog about how mean of a boss Juventino is? Or about his sexual harassment problems?

    -So, let me get another thing straight here, by the logic you implied, being mistreated at work doesn’t really count unless you shoot them in the head point blank to prove your point? That sounds so terribly flawed. So what your saying is, Juventino isn’t so bad to work for, otherwise he would have been shot in the head? What kind of depraved world do you live in, Anonymous? It seems very skewed and highly irrational.

    To finalize my objections, your apology doesn’t make you seem sorry at all, since you clearly fail to understand the seriousness of Juventino’s offense.
    And there shouldn’t be a degree of respect. There should be utmost respect. Like 360 degrees of respect.

    “But i feel that’s the only argument that’s admissible here.”
    -Yes, that is the ONLY ARGUMENT being the issue here.

    Ugh, such a stupid person. Please go read some books on Human and Civil Rights, educate yourself for the love of anything that is sacred. And take a class on feminism, you “sexist pig”.

  15. Jessica says:

    The fix for this is simple. Get someone still there to ware a wire and after a few sleazy encounters file a class action sexual harassment lawsuit. Seems like you have enough ammo to make sure he never works in a decent place again.

  16. Jon G says:

    NOTE: I do not support or tolerate sexual harassment/emotional abuse in the workplace. Clearly women (or anyone) should not work for this guy.

    However, I hate to burst the servers’ bubble, I’ve never come to Juventino for the service. The decor is cute with the cookbooks and the outdoor space, but the sole reason I’ve returned is for the food. This is why Juventino remains employed despite his actions, while past servers post on a blog. The “talent” in any industry is almost always given more latitude. That being said, the guy should obviously be fired.

    Also curious why the 22 past servers didn’t post their names. As with any petition/public outcry, it carries more weight when the public/market can put a face and a name to a cause. I’m also curious to find out how the male servers feel. Male servers willing to comment?

    • KP says:

      Really, Jon.. If someone who was drunk and twice your size locked you in his office and tried to get you to suck his dick, would you want him to know that you had publicly defamed him?

      The thing is, Jon, that “the guy” is the owner. He cannot be fired. And there is most certainly a good-old boy attitude amongst the owners and executive chefs of restaurants. These guys all know each other, have each other’s back, and they all have money and power, and they all make food for people who have a LOT of money and power.Much the same way these ladies (and one male server) have each other’s back, and the same way that consumers should have the back of their servers.

      And in general, no one wants to hire a girl who has a sexual harassment lawsuit or who has had related issues in the workplace. These girls are “trouble-makers.” I’ll give you an example: When I quit this place a couple of years ago (it was still called Get Fresh) and began to search for my next server gig, I noticed that suddenly no one wanted to hire me. This was unheard of. I have a great resume and never had a problem getting myself a job. Then, when I lied about the reasons for which I quite working at Get Fresh Table and Market, I was immediately called back for three positions at once! Pretty ironic, huh, Jon?

      So go ahead and buy expensive fair-trade coffee so everyone knows that you’re a good person.

      The fact of the matter is that the majority of laborers in the service industry, regardless of sex, are being exploited. There’s no agency in the work place. We are a dime-a-dozen. We are disposable. We are automatons. We work eighteen hour shifts. We smile for hours on end. We are not allowed to use the bathroom. We are divided and pitted against one another. Our bodies are constantly judged. We are told that we deserve it. We are told we are worthless. We are told we should get a real job.

      We often have master’s degrees, or even a doctorate. We are often very talented artists. We often have kids. We are almost always working to make our lives better, probably trying to make sure that we never have to serve tables or work in a kitchen ever again. We come from all over the world. We are often victims of trauma, racism, class-stratification. We hate ourselves. We are told to hate ourselves. We participate in an industry that is wasteful, racist, exploitative, bourgeois; and trust me, Jon: Shit rolls down-hill.

      So you see, the restaurant and service industry, which is supposed to be a pleasant and humanizing social experience, is actually pretty fucking ugly, right? I don’t work in restaurants anymore, and I don’t eat at them, either, unless I know people that work there. Much the way you, Jon eat at places where you can find out if your food is ethically sourced.. Because making, serving, and sharing food is a beautiful experience, and it is a human experience. So have a little more awareness and respect for the humans who do it everyday. It takes more than a boss or a “talented” chef to bring you food while you sit on your ass.

      • Jon G says:

        KP,

        Obviously it takes courage to come forward against against someone like Juventino, but they would not be the first. These are two recent examples of sexual assault victims coming forward and telling their story/challenging the court system to make sure that the people responsible are known:

        http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/7811224/smu-cross-country-runner-monika-korra-survived-brutal-rape-tells-story

        http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/savannah-dietrich-twitter-sexual-assault-louisville-174732753.html

        If the former employees feel like doing so would put them in physical or professional harm, fine, don’t…

        Yes, power players in the same industry (finance/hospitality/energy etc) typically know each other and “have each other’s back;” which is really short hand for one hand washes the other.

        Remind me why consumers should have the back of their servers? Do servers have my back? If my boss rips me a new one in my industry are they going to boycott my company? If so, great! I’m on board. But unfortunately, this is a very isolated, capitalistic, everyone for themselves type world. It’s nice when there’s a pocket of good will but it’s certainly not the status quo.

        Your point about getting a job with a sexual harassment lawsuit in your past is unfortunately true. But the same would apply for a wrongful termination of any type. Businesses cover their ass.

        I love my fair trade coffee, thanks for noticing!

        I got news for you…many people are exploited regardless of industry. Same applies for law associates, investment bankers and just about anyone that doesn’t have CEO next to their name. Yes we may get paid better and not work on our feet, but that doesn’t mean we don’t get shit from our superiors/clients. You think cold food is a big deal? Imagine what a boss will do to you if you lose a million dollars in a matter of minutes.

        You think they won’t fire a first year associate if they make noise? There are about 50,000 people willing to break bones to take their place. Will a newly minted lawyer complain about 430 billing hours in a month? Nope. Sucks right? That’s the world.

        I have plenty of respect for individuals who work at restaurants in any position. It’s hard work. I don’t know where you get that I don’t have respect for them. The service at Juventino was never great when I was there. That’s my experience. I never said that mediocre service is reason to be abused.

        Yes, I do sit on my ass when I go to restaurants. I’m not working. Would you like me to go into the kitchen and jump on the line or start running? No. The same way that my clients/superiors sit on their ass while I make them even wealthier.

        Clearly you have painted me as some yuppie that doesn’t appreciate the plight of the “working man.” Please, you know nothing about me.

      • saffronrose says:

        what… is your point?

      • z.l. says:

        Amen. You said it perfectly.

        I really hope you get treated better elsewhere. Everyone deserves basic human decency.

      • angela says:

        Double amen! You connected the dots that folks still need to acknowledge and support if they give a shit about food, which presumably folks who go to these places do. Thank you for speaking truth to power so clearly.

      • dk says:

        Jon, you keep bringing up the fact that the service you received at this creep’s establishment was poor. Have you considered that perhaps the poor service was a product of a toxic work environment? If you work in the hospitality industry your job is to provide customers with a pleasant experience (a relaxing brunch or a nice evening out). You have to be able to check your problems at the door, put on a smile, and try your best to please everyone. But what if your problems start when you walk into work? How can you focus on the customers and their needs when you’re preoccupied with avoiding some insane confrontation with your drunk boss? I’m not saying your job isn’t stressful, I have no doubt that it is, but could you perform well, perform at your best, if some big drunk guy was looking over your shoulder all day, berating you, putting his hands on you? I don’t think anyone could.

  17. Anonymous says:

    There aren’t any males servers to comment, it seems like he hires exclusively young women

  18. Anonymous says:

    Sadly, I worked for this monster also. I should have known better than to work there after seeing there was nothing professional about his office where his interviews were held. I sat on a couch, he sat on a chair in front of me. However, that was only the minor issues. During my interview he explained the work environment was “intense”. I didn’t know that meant treatin me like complete garbage! He would say things like “Grab the fucking plates” “Do it now” “what are you fucking retarded.” I tried explaining to him that words like please and thank you go a long way to keep us motivated and feel appreciated while we work but he replied saying “that’s your problem, your a baby who needs to hear that.” As the days past I grew angry but still showed up for work until he pushed me to my limited one day. I was the only server working & everyone knows brunch is hectic, I didn’t even reach a month working there yet also. Anyways, there were dirty dishes & drinks to be made & he came and shoved the plates in my stomach and told me to get rid of them. I had built so much hatred toward him. Working at Juventino’s felt like hell & like he was some sort of Hilter.

  19. mona says:

    I had a boss who constantly harassed me at a shoe store I worked in when I was 16. It was truly terrible. Thank you for doing what I wish I had known to do. I hope this bastard loses everything.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I had a night of training at the restaurant and walked out midway because of what I was hearing from the waitresses. One girl said that the verbal abuse was so bad she would have anxiety attacks before her shifts. I was lucky enough that I did not need the job and money that badly and left the second I realized Juventino was a horrible person.

  21. anony says:

    Um, he came into a restaurant where I used to work for brunch, and though I can’t say he sexually harassed me, I will contribute to being a character witness here by mentioning that he was a totally obnoxious, condescending prick.

  22. Tracy says:

    I always wondered why the energy there seemed so negative. Now I know. Happy to help by not eating there.

  23. angela says:

    Much respect and solidarity and gratitude for these brave workers who are speaking truth to power and shining a light on a problem in too many restaurants and probably grocery stores too. You’re my heroes!
    If you live in the area and used to eat at Juventino or were thinking of going there, please consider stopping in, asking to speak to the manager and telling them that you’ve chosen to stop going there and why. The silence of empty tables will speak more loudly to let them know they will not get away with making profit from injustice and abuse.

  24. Doe says:

    You guys know he was fired from his position at the Institue of Culinary Education in Chelsea for this kind of behavior toward some female students, right? I was a student at the school at the time he was summarily dismissed.

    He was an egotistical instructor who ignored the curriculum and who taught his students absolutely nothing of use – not even the proper care of our knives. Many of us were happy to see him go. The fact that he’s still behaving like an immature frat boy doesn’t surprise me at all.

  25. Elsaanew says:

    Thank you for putting word of such heinous behavior out there! I worked for a man who sounds a LOT like this Juventino fellow. He would be so verbally abusive, I would not be able to sleep at night because I would be dreading going to work the next day. My HR department knew of his behavior, as numerous employees quit before me because of this one man. They even hired him a “life coach.” The sad fact was that the man was an insane workaholic who forced his employees to work non-stop, and therefore made the company a nice, tidy profit. They couldn’t give two shits about their employees, and it sounds like that is insanely pervasive in the restaurant industry. Hang in there, ladies, and keep fighting the good fight. No matter what anyone tells you, you did not “ask” to be treated this way and you are not being “too sensitive” to not want to be sexually and verbally harassed. Those are bullshit lies made up by misogynists. I wish we could call all of these bastards out and run them all out of business.

  26. vernonia says:

    You could get a group of people together, and go sit down in the restaurant, and not order anything. 20 or 30 people, just sit there for hours. Order water. It wouldn’t even have to be former employees or anyone he could recognize, you obviously have enough people on your side. Do this for a few nights in a row, maybe weeks. It will cost them thousands of dollars, that’s probably all this shameless jerk cares about.

    • saffronrose says:

      … and just leave a GIGANTIC cash tip for the servers’ legal fund…

      • angela says:

        That’s such a great idea, but I doubt they’d let anyone sit there for hours w/o ordering. And the gigantic cash tip would be great except that I believe the servers no longer work there so they’d have to get the tip from the current servers.

      • saffronrose says:

        …party fund? Certainly the current servers deserve one. Although it’ll be really interesting to see how they staff the place from now on- I can’t imagine anyone entering into this employment situation once they’ve been informed. Hopefully prospective servers will google the place before their first “trail shift”.

  27. Anonymous says:

    I used to go there often until I witnessed him treating his employees like crap. i would sit in the front and enjoy a simple breakfast and then I would hear him scolding a waitress. when he saw me looking, he’d walk over with a huge grin and try to strike up a friendly conversation to cover it up. it was like dr. jekyl and mr. hyde….he gave me the creeps, so i stopped going there. any time friends ask me to meet up there, i refuse to go. now they know why….

  28. Anonymous says:

    I work at a fine dining restaurant in the vicinity, can definitely corroborate that he would often bring in younger waitstaff for late night dinners. Always wondered what the motivation was. Sorry to hear it was this serious, and definitely putting the word out. People need to hear about this.

  29. disappointed park slope mommy says:

    I am a long standing customer of Get Fresh – I live in the neighborhood and I kept coming back despite Juventino’s awful personality and the recent anti-family-friendly policies, because the food was so good and fresh. This blog saddens me but does not surprise me too much I guess. His sadistic control freak tendencies were evident even while he was seating us and taking our orders. It was sad for us to over and over again make friends with the kind and pretty waitstaffers and to have them get to know our little baby and then for them to vanish, replaced by new ones. I was sexually harassed when I was younger and I should have recognized the type and realized why the turnover at the restaurant was even higher than other neighborhood restaurants. My husband and I definitely saw Juventino out at night with just a single waitress at a time … sigh. I guess we have to stop going now, unless the guy is fired. Too bad – I’m ashamed to say it but I will miss his amazing recipes.

  30. saffronrose says:

    Can anyone report on how this has affected business over the weekend?

  31. Terry says:

    My girlfriend and I ate there early this summer. The food was good and I liked the atmosphere. We’ve been looking for regular spot ever since Perch (RIP) vanished. I’m glad you folks are bringing this situation to light; I wouldn’t have known otherwise. Neither one of us will eat there again. Good luck. Hopefully he’ll be put out of business.

    Is there any site or blog that lists shitty restaurants in Park Slope/South Slope (my neighborhood but all of NYC would be appropriate)? By “shitty” I’m referring to the treatment of the staff not just the quality of the food or decor. I’ve noticed some restaurants always have miserable-looking staff (Miriam is one of these) and I’ve wondered if it’s an awful work environment.

    Regardless, thanks for helping connect this treatment with the consequences it produces. I’ve worked many sorts of job mainly in the trades and often–unless it was a union shop and in one case even when it was–there was a horror show going on with treatment of workers and safety violations. It helps to know if your dollars are supporting assholes.

  32. Eva G. says:

    This website represents the best of the internet to me. This industry is notorious for this type of behavior and it is time for it to stop. I am 55 years old now, but back when I was 21 and working as a waitress I had the worst, most haunting experience of my life there at the hands of my boss.

    That sort of behavior must stop. Now.

  33. Anonymous says:

    As an employee of Juventino I can say that yes, at times Juventino is kurt out of frustration. But most of the time he isn’t even there, and if he is he is in his office. Only on the floor when the other servers and myself are overwhelmed. Never have I felt that any lines were crossed by him. I cannot speak for his former employees & their accusations are their own, I would never say they are true or false because it’s not my place to say so. However I think a different approach should have been taken, these words aren’t just effecting Juventino (the individual). As a current employee the fear of loosing business clearly effects my income. Report him, sue him.. The issue is between him & the former employees, not the restaurant. Now all the staff is being effected. I feel bad for these girls, what they claim they went through isnt just. I just hate that I now ask myself on my way to work, ‘will I make enough money to pay my bills’..

    • The SANDMAN.... says:

      THE END IS NEAR FOR THIS RESTAURANT…. WE AS A COMMUNITY WILL “NOT” TOLERATE THIS BEHAVIOR!! I would suggest you look for another job because this will be A LONG COLD WINTER WITH NO BUSINESS FOR JUVENTINO!!

    • B says:

      Please, please, please work somewhere else. The issue is not just with him, but with the entire industry. By continuing to work for him, you continue to support him and in turn continue to support a corrupt and sadistic institution. You can get a better job somewhere else without the risk of being verbally and/or sexually abused. 22 people aren’t making this up. There are things more important than money ie: dignity, self-respect, self-confidence…

    • Amber says:

      Honey (if it’s not Juventino posting again), you should find another job. There are thousands of restaurants out there in New York. Or even right here in Brooklyn– just walk around 5th/7th Avenue, for example…

      Have some self respect.

      • Anonymous says:

        come oooon. I also worked there and I liked it. He was very polite and professional.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well then you were very lucky. I also worked there – but had quite a different experience. We used to call him, “Juventerror”

    • Emma says:

      This can’t possibly be true. When I was an employee, he had a bed in the loft space of his office because he spent so much time at the restaurant. I’m sorry this is effecting your income, but the place is named after him. There’s no way to separate him from the business. Get a job in Carroll Gardens or just down Smith street. There’s plenty of work out there.

  34. M H says:

    I cant say I’ve ever eaten here but judging from the reaction on this website it looks like the evidence is stacking up.
    Excellent to see a good and positive reaction to such a common abuse of power.

  35. m says:

    so i’ve walked by many times since this posting and the articles came up, and i have never seen more than two tables taken. this restaurant is going down.

  36. Bena says:

    I’ve been working in the service industry for 17 years and actually work very close to Juventino. As a woman and a server I feel such solidarity, pride and empathy for the 22 former employees of Juventino who have bravely spoken up about workplace abuse. It is true that the restaurant industry can be a haven for discrimination, exploitation and abuse, and I very much admire the strength of these former employees to share their stories and bring light to these issues. I also applaud the extremely eloquent and thoughtful way they have chosen to express themselves in this blog. I hope to see a larger outcry from the Park Slope community and legal action taken against Juventino. I am shocked and outraged that the restaurant refuses to acknowledge or take responsibility for these allegations and hope everyone in Park Slope feels the same way. I’d love to see a protest in front of there during a Sunday brunch and would be happy to participate.

    • Selkirk says:

      I don’t think you’re going to see people protesting without concrete proof. As a longtime customer of Juventino, I’m as horrified as anybody by these allegations, and I probably won’t patronize the place again, but going any further than that is tough without hard evidence, on the record.

  37. Adele says:

    I walked past the restaurant yesterday and the menu looked interesting so I checked it out on Yelp to see the reviews. All I can say is thank you to the Yelp user that posted this link, I WILL DEFINITELY NOT BE A PATRON of any establishment that abuses its employees in any fashion. So thank you for making all of us aware of this situation.

    Many of us, in various industries, have experienced abusive work environments/bosses and can very much sympathize with how it negatively effects everything in our lives.

    As for those posters (JonG in particular) who rationalize egregious work abuses and callously dismiss workers’ complaints and constructive actions, well, all I can say to you is that you need a reality check and a lesson in labor history!

    I am thankful for the internet each and every day for empowering us to make informed choices…and I will definitely spread the word far and wide to stay away from this place!

  38. Maryw says:

    This is so crazy!! A friend who I had described Juventino’s awful behavior to told me about this website, and I am so glad to see you ladies take charge. I worked for Juventino a few months after he opened Get Fresh. I have worked at a lot of restaurants, even for a lot of awful bosses but I have never experienced the kind of constant fear and anxiety like I did here. I desperately needed the job, but was afraid to go to work everyday. I had to tolerate constant insults, calling all the waitresses retards and idiots, forcing me to let him squirt sauce in my mouth or else “I could not work there”, told me my hair was frizzy and that I looked like “a jew”, he screamed at me because I put the silverware down on the table was “too loud” , complained I was too nice to the customers, that I was too happy and I was really “taking him there” “Don’t take me there, you’re really pissing me off.” He would make fun of me for being a vegetarian and once went so far as to try and shove bacon into my closed mouth, smearing the meat juice all over my face.
    On my last day there, it was brunch by myself with about fifteen tables, busing everything myself, trying to stay focused. Juventino follows me around the entire time berating my every move, the way I carry plates. the way I steam milk, the way I make change, I’m not moving fast enough fast enough!. A couple didn’t get there bread basket for ten minutes because I was so overwhelmed and forgot to put in the order. I apologized profusely but I guess they voiced a complaint with Juventino. He called me back into his office and told me I couldn’t handle it there. That I couldn’t handle his “intense” ,methods, because I was a weak idiot. “You’re a musician. You come to your show prepared, knowing how to play the songs, what chords to play. I don’t play music. I wouldn’t come to YOUR SHOW and pretend I KNOW HOW TO PLAY MUSIC. How can you come into MY RESTAURANT and pretend you KNOW HOW TO WAITRESS!!!” (I am not exaggerating one bit.)
    “What do you have to say for yourself”
    My eyes brimming with tears, I told him I had just been a little overwhelmed and I could do better. That I was sorry.
    He then fired me (without paying me for my work that day, of course), and man, am I glad that he did.
    Former employee 23….

  39. Ellen says:

    I was considering going here with my family, but certainly will never go after reading this. Does this jerk have an e-mail? It would be great to overwhelm him with messages about why he’s being boycotted.

  40. Anonymous says:

    !!!!

  41. Anonymous says:

    Fuck you!FUCK YOU! Fuck you! Asshole!!! You deserve it Juventino!!!!!!!!!!!
    Former employee 24

  42. Anonymous says:

    Another former Get Fresh employee here. I experienced a closed-door, drinking wine in the office incident of misconduct in the summer of 2009. I had just moved to New York as a 19 year old, so I didn’t feel justified in quitting. I needed the money. I never allowed for an incident like that to occur again by avoiding the office and only working in the mornings. I did, of course, endure daily comments like “move your fucking ass” and “you fuck up,” etc so on.
    Five months later, I was left a threatening voice mail because I had slept through my alarm and was late for my shift. I decided I would never go back. That same day, my friend – who had gotten a job at Get Fresh through me a week prior – was fired for reasons totally unrelated to performance. She was told by the office manager that they were “cutting back.” Furious, she went to his office and demanded she be presented with both of our pay checks. He threatened to call the police. She threatened to tell law enforcement about his sexual harassment if he did indeed call the police. He wrote the checks.
    Juventino is a damn liar for denying his misconduct. It’s disgusting. I have spoken personally to several coworkers who described incidents similar to mine in which they explicitly said “stop” and he proceeded. I was disturbed but also encouraged by this site. Thank you for banding together and making yourselves available to me. I am optimistic that we can empower young women to not stand for harassment the way that I did and so many other employees. It’s amazing that Rebecca, as a woman, defends Juventino. Let’s expose this bastard, and all the other bastards like him.

  43. Marj says:

    Thank you for your bravery in coming out with this news. I won’t eat there again. Best to you.

  44. m says:

    well, apparently this thing has completely blown over. the restaurant was empty or nearly empty for about a week after all the initial postings; but it’s been busy as ever in the past few weeks.

    • angela says:

      I just posted a link to the blog on Facebook and will try to remember to keep doing so regularly. If we all keep sharing the info, hopefully we can get a critical mass for long enough that will make a difference.

  45. saffronrose says:

    I just posted a yelp review linking to this page and I recommend that everyone on this thread do the same.

  46. Damaris says:

    No matter if some one searches for his required thing, so he/she wishes to be available that in detail,
    thus that thing is maintained over here.

  47. Jesse says:

    I am so glad that his abusive behavior was exposed. I was hired there in June and quit after one day; never wanting to hear about this horrible man again, but I came across this page. I had never been treated so badly by an employer in my life, the man threw F-Bombs around like they were candy; yelled at me while attending to the customers; belittled another employee that was being trained right in front of me calling her “retarded”. Needless to say, I finished my shift and told him I would never be coming back. Thankfully I was not there enough for there to be any sexual advances – but I definitely believe he would be capable of committing such acts. The man was a terrible human being and I am really sad that he escaped unharmed by all these accusations.

  48. I feel for anyone going through this kind of experience, and have supported women going through such events, but after a lengthy discussion with two local friends about this site and how they would never eat there (which neither have more than once), I came here to see what the site had to say. I was disappointed at how little actual information is here.

    I was surprised when the stories started as I have been a regular at Juventinos for lunch and occasional dinners (two or three times a week at my peak attendance) since he took over Get Fresh, for what seems like it must be about three years, since they started serving meals. I like the food, a lot, and I’ve talked to Tino often, don’t find him creepy or any of the other things thrown in by people responding to the accusations without spending any time there.

    I haven’t heard public abuse of staffers, usually I heard joking and laughter from the back, among the staff and between them and him. There has always been at least one guy on staff in all the time I have gone there. If he is harassing women of any age, he needs to be called on it and brought to task or court. If he abuses workers verbally, he needs to be asked not to do so, or have action taken if it crosses the line into civil rights violations. I would just hate to see one of my favorite local restaurants closed because of a much talked about site with no specific incidents sited other than an atmosphere, no actual names of staffers involved, and no evidence that any actual action other than posting this site was taken against someone being accused of forced or attempted oral sex in at least one comment.

    The charges here are serious, and I would like to see actual validation of them, and the 22 names of the people attesting to them. He has the legal right to face his accuser(s) and doing it this way is the equivalent of a poison pen letter and cowardly, not brave. Before I pass judgement I would like to hear from the rest of the staffers about their experiences. I don’t have to witness the abuse myself, but verified accusations from reliable parties would suffice, instead of anonymous accusations anyone could post for any reason.

    In short, I would like to see some actual facts before this restaurant is hounded out of business. I haven’t seen any defense fro Juventino, I don’t doubt that there may be a history there, and that this may all be true, but I want it to be verified truth, not just text on a page that anyone could post, like graffiti. Not to negate anything this accusers say, but this is Park Slope, not Salem, and I think we have to curb knee jerk responses until we have all the facts from both sides.

    What this needs is a real journalist to really investigate what happened and write it up objectively. I hope the one trying to reach the people behind this is doing that, so we can find out what really went on and is going on.

  49. Actually, on this subject, here’s something immediate and concrete that can be done to help restaurant workers if you come here and sympathize, a petition to raise their minimum wage. It is the tipped worker minimum wage of $2.13 that I didn’t know about, and finding out makes me glad I usually tip 20%:

    http://signon.org/sign/tell-congress-dont-let?source=mo&id=62455-20370285-a_J7%3DWx

  50. Heather says:

    I applied to this restaurant last summer but ended up getting a job elsewhere before having to start any training at Juventino’s, which I was quite pleased about after a friend led me to this website after my interview. I used to eat here quite a few times, and loved the food, but I will not support a business that does not treat their employees with kindness and respect. Thanks for speaking out!

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