December 2, 2023

The difficulty started in August 2021, based on the claims in an uncommon lawsuit filed in July, when Theodore Weintraub was 17 and tried one thing of an American ceremony of passage: shopping for alcohol with a faux ID.

He tried, and failed, many instances. However as a substitute of going right into a bodega or Midtown dive bar, he repeatedly selected the bar in one among Manhattan’s most unique accommodations, connected to a restaurant run by the superstar chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, the place a cheeseburger with fries costs $60.

Bartenders don’t see too many youngsters flashing faux IDs at institutions with a $14,500 bottle of wine on the menu, so Mr. Weintraub stood out. Time and again, workers members refused his more and more aggressive makes an attempt to purchase a drink, the lawsuit stated, till lastly, in 2021, the lodge banned him solely.

What occurred subsequent was at first annoying after which disruptive and ultimately led to a collection of occasions so weird and disturbing that the lodge, The Mark on East 77th Road on the Higher East Aspect, sued Mr. Weintraub, now 19, for defamation.

In keeping with court docket papers filed late final month, Mr. Weintraub returned to The Mark earlier this summer time, two years after his banishment, on a quest for revenge. It’s unclear why he waited for 2 years to return, and he declined requests for remark.

Mr. Weintraub and one other man, known as John Doe within the authorized filings, grew to become fixtures outdoors the lodge, the go well with contends, chanting and holding protest indicators saying “The Mark Denies the Holocaust,” “The Mark Spreads Illness” and “The Mark Helps Epstein,” in reference to Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted intercourse offender.

In keeping with the lawsuit, first reported by, they bodily accosted lodge company till, lastly, a video reveals, a sidewalk brawl erupted in July between the protesters and followers of the rap star Drake, who was staying on the lodge.

The Mark is close to Mr. Weintraub’s residence. However past its proximity, it’s unclear why he would resolve to attempt to purchase alcohol there, or why he would maintain making an attempt after he was repeatedly refused service. The lodge’s account in court docket papers recommend that he harbored a grudge for years till it lastly boiled over.

Approached by The New York Post last week, Mr. Weintraub was taciturn.

“I can’t remark now,” he stated. “The reality will come out.”

Just a few weeks after Mr. Weintraub was banned in 2021, he was again on the lodge — this time along with his unsuspecting dad and mom.

Mr. Weintraub’s household had made a dinner reservation on the restaurant, however they have been stopped from taking their seats by safety, who knowledgeable them their son was not allowed on the property, based on the lawsuit.

This gave the impression to be information to Mr. Weintraub’s dad and mom. {The teenager} first requested the lodge to forgive him, the lawsuit stated, however quickly flew right into a rage, screaming that the lodge was antisemitic and that its workers spat in individuals’s meals.

The younger man’s father, Dr. Philip J. Weintraub, a heart specialist, calmed him down and instructed lodge workers that “he understood the ban,” based on court docket papers.

Dr. Weintraub — an artwork collector who made tabloid headlines himself in 2021 over an insurance coverage dispute that centered on the theft of $1.5 million price of artwork from his roughly $7 million assortment — handed lodge workers members his enterprise card and instructed them to name him instantly if his son precipitated any additional hassle. He didn’t reply to requests for remark.

That appeared to have been the tip of the dispute till earlier this summer time, when workers members stated they bumped into Mr. Weintraub once more on the sidewalk close to the lodge, the place he screamed at them, based on court docket papers.

Quickly, Mr. Weintraub and one other man started their protests. By July, they have been additionally screaming insults at lodge workers, together with repeatedly calling one doorman a pedophile and yelling that “his mom is a prostitute.” The lawsuit costs that in addition they bodily confronted company.

On a number of events, the lodge referred to as 911. So did Mr. Weintraub and the opposite protester.

Crystal, a lodge worker who spoke on the situation that she be recognized solely by her first identify as a result of The Mark instructed its workers to not communicate to the information media, stated she had seen Mr. Weintraub and one other man sit in a black SUV — a Cadillac Escalade, based on the court docket papers — outdoors the lodge and provides directions to the protester.

She stated she wished Mr. Weintraub would spend his money and time on different pursuits.

Issues reached a fever pitch when Drake stayed on the lodge final month. In one video posted online by The Hollywood Fix, a celeb gossip website, a person may be heard chanting “The Mark helped Epstein!” as Drake and his entourage go away the lodge.

The lawsuit stated {that a} melee erupted outdoors the lodge when Mr. Weintraub and his fellow protester tried to maintain a celeb, who was unnamed in court docket paperwork however whom the video reveals to be Drake, from re-entering the lodge. That resulted within the different protester “being punched within the face by followers” of the superstar, based on the go well with.

The superstar, who’s Jewish, later complained to lodge administration that he was disturbed to listen to somebody screaming about Holocaust denial as he tried to come back and go from the lodge, the lawsuit stated.

Edward, the superintendent of a close-by industrial constructing who requested to be recognized solely by his first identify for concern of dropping his job, stated he had seen Mr. Weintraub and his protest companion “get in arguments with Drake’s bodyguards a pair instances.”

However the superintendent additionally stated he considered Mr. Weintraub’s campaign as extra of a New York Metropolis oddity than a real menace.

“So far as loopy issues we’ve seen, this charges a 2,” he stated. “We see lots round right here.”

The lodge’s managers have been extra accustomed to internet hosting celebrities and the tremendous wealthy — The Mark costs $75,000 per evening for its penthouse suite — than seeing road fights on its sidewalk. By the tip of July, they have been fed up.

Late final month, the lodge filed the lawsuit towards Mr. Weintraub for defamation, and on Thursday it filed for a restraining order, which it says was granted, that may stop him or anybody appearing on his behalf from picketing outdoors the lodge.

The request for a restraining order additionally addressed a few of the particular claims made by Mr. Weintraub: It might stop him from publicly claiming The Mark denied the Holocaust, supported Jeffrey Epstein, supported sexual assault or was a recognized supply of infectious illness.

In an affidavit, Etienne Haro, the lodge’s common supervisor, took specific umbrage at Mr. Weintraub’s costs of Holocaust denial and collusion with Mr. Epstein, who Mr. Haro stated had by no means even stayed at The Mark. (He lived six blocks away earlier than he was despatched to jail, the place he died by suicide in 2019.)

“The notion that we deny the Holocaust is a spurious try to break our popularity and relationships,” wrote Mr. Haro, who stated the lodge’s prestigious popularity “may be broken, as right here, by a single particular person loudly complaining about our enterprise integrity.”

The lodge’s administration requested workers to not remark, a number of workers members stated.

Alex Weisenberger, 40, who works on the block within the artwork business and makes use of they/them pronouns, stated that they had seen Mr. Weintraub protesting outdoors the lodge and assumed it was a prank. Mx. Weisenberger stated others within the neighborhood appeared unfazed.

“I simply noticed him strolling backwards and forwards in entrance of The Mark, chanting, ‘The Mark has Rats,’” stated Mx. Weisenberger.

“It was bizarre, however individuals didn’t actually appear bothered,” they added. “Clearly the lodge workers huddled to speak about what to do. However there have been individuals sitting outdoors consuming at tables, and so they simply stored consuming.”

Wesley Parnell contributed reporting.

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