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Bushwick Coffee Shop Owner Embroiled In Controversy After Instagram Post Takes Aim At Jews

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The owner of a Brooklyn coffee shop has brewed up controversy after an online posting taking direct aim at Jews, who he says "want a piece or all of Bushwick," has some outraged.

As CBS 2's Steve Langford reported, the coffee shop is now getting all sorts of attention it may never have wanted.

On Friday morning, Langford reported there were no customers, just staff inside The Coffee Shop in Bushwick.

CBS 2 asked to speak to owner Michael Avila, whose recent Instagram posting targeting Jews in the neighborhood declared in part, "Jews who in this case, and many cases separate, sorry, function via greed and dominance." However, a staffer told the station Avila doesn't work on Fridays.

The staffer said business was "good," since the owner of the recently-open coffee shop may well have alienated and angered many local customers with his comments, Langford reported.

"I feel quite uncomfortable about that," one woman said.

"I don't know if I would frequent, I would probably go to a different bodega to grab my coffee," another told Langford.

"I went in there and he seems like a nice guy, but who knows, I'm not sure," one coffee shop customer said.

Langford said during the two hours he spent at the coffee shop, eight people entered the shop.

Avila posted an apology on Facebook saying, "My actions came from what I believed to be a good place and for my love of Bushwick."

The Anti-Defamation League calls the whole episode disgraceful, saying in a statement, "We call on Mr. Avila to work to understand the evils of anti-Semitism and bigotry and accept full responsibility for his statements."

One customer who didn't want to appear on-camera even made a special trip to the coffee shop to return her customer loyalty card.

Attempts made by CBS 2 to reach Avila were not successful.

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