If you're following a coffee shop on Instagram, you're in it for pictures of steamy mugs, roasting beans, maybe a tilt-shifted scone. You're probably not expecting a crazy, poorly spelled antisemitic diatribe, but here you go miss, would you like soy milk?
When "The Coffee Shop" opened this summer in Bushwick with an un-googleable name and "fine espresso drinks" from a "custom coffee blend, roasted in Italy," there were few warning signs that owner Michael Avila resented an entire race, which he says is ruining the neighborhood through their "greed and dominance." After one day, the Instagram share has 22 likes—because of course, it's the rapacious Jews who overprice neighborhoods in Brooklyn, not the boutique coffee shops.
Update 2: When this post first went up today, Avila was pictured alongside another coffee shop owner who he described as his "mentor." That man, Giovanni Finotto, contacted me to say he has nothing to do with this:
"Unfortunately, a photo has surfaced of me with Michael Avila, the owner of The Coffee Shop in Bushwick Brooklyn. The picture accompanies the news that Avila has made reprehensible racial-remarks on a since-deleted Instagram rant. Regardless of excuses he has made, claiming that he was misunderstood, his behavior is completely inexcusable.
The picture of us together is a result of us working in a professional capacity where I consulted Avila, about Coffee of course, before he opened his shop. The relationship was strictly professional, and only to share my love of coffee and educate a new business owner.
His deplorable comments in no way align with my personal beliefs, or the environment I foster at my shop, I AM COFFEE."
Not all coffee shops.