Support Marketplace

NYC's (former) underground lobster rolls

You might have heard about Ronnie, a New York City entrepreneur who sells grilled cheese sandwiches underground, on our Marketplace Morning Report story.

Well, Ronnie may want to keep a low profile...

Dr. Claw ran a similar business. But instead of grilled cheese sandwiches, he made lobster rolls. He used to run a secret lobster shack out of his basement apartment in Greepoint, Brooklyn, N.Y. But over time, neighbors began to get suspicious about the people coming in and out of his apartment with brown paper bags and notified local authorities. So, the doc decided to make deliveries via his black SUV. Potential clients would friend him on Facebook and after passing a security check (using what method -- who knows?), he would deliver the goods in agreed-upon locations by driving up in his black SUV.

So Dr. Claw had to take precautionary measures. He donned a beard, wore sunglasses and concealed his identity from customers. He watched his Facebook page to weed out potential inspectors.

But, he still got caught. The Department of Health notified him to cease and desist his lobster operations. Bye-bye lobster rolls.

Perhaps Ronnie will be luckier.

About the author

Daryl Paranada is the associate web producer for Marketplace overseeing all daily website content and production, as well as producing multimedia features -- including the popular economic explainer series Whiteboard -- and special projects. Follow him on Twitter @darylparanada.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...