A Brooklyn pottery business refused to let in residents from some neighborhoods, primarily those in Jewish areas not even listed as heavy hit COVID19 spots— prompting cries of antisemitism and forcing it to apologize.
The Painted Pot — a do-it-yourself pottery-painting store with locations in Park Slope and Cobble Hill — instituted the ban after the city revealed soaring coronavirus infection rates in a slew of areas in Brooklyn and Queens.
The business said it would be checking potential customers’ addresses at the door to ensure compliance.
“You must bring ID to show proof of residence,” the shop wrote, according to a tweet.
“At this time, families who live in the following zip codes are welcome to purchase Pottery to Go only and cannot paint in our studios.”
The business then listed eight zip codes — six of which are on the city’s hot-zone list of coronavirus-wracked neighborhoods, including such areas as Borough Park and Midwood, which have large Orthodox populations, while the other two are on a “watch list.”
Business owner Lisa Mendoza acknowledged in a Facebook posting Tuesday that people were so fired up over the ban — to the point where workers had to turn off their phones because of so many “awful comments’’ — that she backed off it.
“I just received these messages: ‘That’s discrimination straight up! This isn’t Nazi Germany and people won’t stand for it.’ ‘How come you are not allowing jews to come for in person classes? What do you have against jewish people?’” Mendoza wrote.
“Please stop with this hatred,” she said in the posting, adding, “We would like to offer all painters who took offense to our email, a free mug to paint if you would like to paint in our studio.
“I would [like] to apologize to customers who were upset by our original email. … Again, we were in no way discriminating anyone from entering our studio.”
Mendoza added to the The Post in an e-mail Tuesday, “My staff and I have compromised immune systems: asthma, MS and cancer.
“My father has lung cancer and has been receiving chemo and radiation treatment all summer. He’s about to be operated on in two weeks, and I need to be his advocate.
“So we thought, we follow the guide of the city and state, which now seems not to be the best decision.”
She said the response to the ban hadn’t all been hateful.
“We have also received much support from our customers who are children of Holocaust survivors,” she said.
She quoted supporters as saying, “You don’t have anything to apologize for.
“We are in one of the restricted zip codes and we are not insulted,” Mendoza said, referring to what backers told her. “We didn’t assume anything except that the rising numbers were worrying you. … You’re doing the right thing to protect your staff and customers.”
The business owner lamented, “It’s been a challenge trying to stay in business.
“I [owe] over $90K in back rent and I’m not sure if we can last much longer,” she wrote to The Post.
“I find the timing of this [controversy] to be a perfect storm to really hurt a small business which is already wounded by the pandemic. Many of the negative comments are from people who do not patronize my studio.”
The business also posted a mea culpa on Instagram.