Bensonhurst Market Violating Evacuation Order, Sanitation Law

Fruit and fish market violating law, neighborhood residents say

Brooklyn Daily
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A Bensonhurst market that the city has tried to shutter since 2008 has turned 18th Avenue into a rotten fish and produce-strewn stretch that rats and vermin flock to all night long, claim outraged neighbors who say the city isn’t doing enough to force the grocer to clean up his act.

The city has hit the owner of the Mondello Fish Market with nearly $20,000 in fines and a vacate order, but residents say the neighborhood merchant has done nothing to improve the deplorable conditions he has created at the corner.

“It’s not fair,” said Claire Bells, who has lived near the corner of Bay Ridge and 18th avenues for more than 30 years. “You look one way and it’s a nice street. You look the other and it looks like a slum. I went to the community board, I went to the Congressman and all the politicians. They all just pass the buck.”

Bells’s neighbors say vendors dropping off produce block the street. When the store closes up at night, workers leave behind uncovered dumpsters full of rotting fish, fruit, and veggies — creating a feast for vermin, critics say.

“I have to pass by there constantly with my grandson, and the smell is terrible,” said resident Sally Benz. “It’d be better if they swept up right.”

The Mondello Fish Market is no stranger to Community Board 11, which has received numerous complaints about the property.

“We’ve sent police around there to address the complaints,” district manager Marnee Elias-Pavia said.

The city says it is doing everything it can to make sure the merchant follows the rules, but the market’s owner — who was not around when this paper paid the store a visit and didn’t respond to repeated calls for comment — has thumbed his nose at the Sanitation Department.

The merchant hasn’t paid a number of outstanding tickets for obstructing the street and sidewalk, having improper trash receptacles, and for failing to clean up his premises, city officials say, claiming that their hands are tied.

The property holder has also refused to comply with a vacate order that’s been hanging over the building since a fire broke out there in 2008 — or pay the more than $6,000 fines he’s racked up for failing to comply with the order, according to Department of Buildings spokeswoman Gloria Chin.

Chin said that more than $12,000 in construction violations have also been levied against the property.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at (718) 260–4507 or e-mail him at Follow him on Twitter at
Updated 12:05 am, September 20, 2012
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Reader feedback

mary janr from bensonhurst says:
i understand peoples views of this place but i go and buy my fish and fruit there and i have not found a better place to buy fish , they may be smelly and dirty on the outside but inside they provide excellent fruits and especially fish . if it were so dirty then why do people keep going there. some people just complain way to much and if they don't like it then they should move or walk down a different street. i will be very upset if this shuts down because i don't trust any other market to get my fish i feed my family.
Sept. 22, 2012, 5:40 pm
Joe from Bensonhurst says:
The place may have quality items but it's no reason for it to be up kept this way. I've never been able to walk past that place without stepping on a rotten tomato or another type of fruit/vegetable that's decomposing on the sidewalk. There are always trucks blocking that street, the sidewalk is blocked because the displays go a lot further then normal displays so people are shopping in the middle of the sidewalk.
Sept. 25, 2012, 7:59 am
patrick says:
I lived in bayridge n bensonhurst my whole childhood life n we had tons of fruit stands vegetable stands ,fish stores n the owners always kept them clean , and if they didn't someone would have asked them nicely to do so n if they didn't then someone from the neighborhood would have told them not so nicely to do so,n believe me it would have been taken care of,you can thank Giuliani for taken down his own people for your nasty smelly fish n fruit markets,ruining the neighborhood.
Sept. 25, 2012, 9:51 am
Janet from Bensonhurst says:
The store is actually very clean and the do put the garbage neatly in the dumpster but the Chinese people come and take all the fruit they throw out and make a mess and throw on the floor the ones they don't want. Can't blame the store for that.
Sept. 26, 2012, 10:11 am
Gary from Bensonhurst says:

Oh please. This store has trash everywhere. Only a racist would blame this on "the Chinese." I walk by here almost every day. Did you fail to read all of the other violations this store has? By the way...I'm not Chinese or Italian, but I am from out of state. It sickens me that some people just can't handle change and blame other people groups for their (or other people's) problems.
Oct. 14, 2012, 2:21 am
Mela from Bensonhurst says:
This whole neighborhood is filty since the chinese started moving in. Bullcrap dont blame change @gary! Do You live here? We clean our front houses, we clean our backyards, we keep trash closed. They do NOT do any of the above. I have stopped going to alllll their 99 cents store because i have found roaches coming out of the bags and seen them crawling around in braod daylight in their stores. Sooooo, dont tell me im racist. It has to do with being clean, not the color or race. So if its the chinese that have trash problems and ruin my chance to live in a clean neighborhood, then thats who i blame!
Nov. 18, 2013, 10:23 pm

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