A New York baseball legend’s sports bar shuttered Sunday after poor management ran the popular Douglaston dive to the ground, the Courier has learned.
Strawberry’s Sports Grill — the brainchild of the Mets’ and Yankees’ four-time World Series champ, Darryl Strawberry — had only been open for two years before the prominent restaurant struck out, having to suddenly shut its doors for good this weekend. News of the closure came out of left field to employers and upper management, sources said.
“It came out of nowhere,” said Michael Strawberry, Darryl’s brother, who helped run the Queens hotspot but did not manage its day-to-day operations. “I am very sad. Rest assured it had nothing to do with my brother and me.”
Employees at the homerun food joint — who requested to remain anonymous for fear of retribution — said they suspected the neighborhood eatery was quickly going downhill early this week when the restaurant stopped placing orders for food and paychecks were being bounced.
“They gave us checks on Friday but said we couldn’t cash them until Tuesday because they said there was no money,” the employee said. “People may not be getting paid. They owe some people $600 to $800.”
According to sources close to the situation, the main manager who was responsible for the restaurant’s downfall recently jumped the sinking ship. They claim the majority of some 30 restaurant workers, who will be left jobless, and customers, were also not told of the dining hole’s doom.
Michael Strawberry did not fully confirm the accusations but said they “could be true.”
“Some of these things, I don’t even know. It was a beautiful experience. I’m not trying to throw anyone under the bus,” he said, adding that upper management is now trying to close gracefully. “This is just something that had to be done here at this time.”
Employees said they do not hold either Strawberry brother responsible for the abrupt closure.
“Michael is a great, great man — probably one of the biggest role models I’ve ever met,” a staff member said. “It hurts him more than anybody to see that the place is closing.”