Below is the complete transcript.
Carlson: Well for more than a month now New York has forced, quote, non-essential businesses to close. What are non-essential? Well we’ll tell you what is essential. Liquor stores are very much essential according to New York. Everything else pretty much is non-essential. But now, some of those non-essential people have decided to defy the city ban.
Eliot Rabin owns the Peter Eliot Blue Men’s Fashion Boutique in New York. Rabin says that his store is open for business, and there’s no reason it shouldn’t be. Eliot Rabin joins us tonight, a very brave man. Mr. Rabin, thanks so much for coming on. I’m amazed that you’re bold enough to come on and we’re grateful for it. Why are you doing this?
Rabin: Well, first of all, just pleasure to be here, pleasure to chat with you sir. I came, I decided that I did not want anyone to dictate to me and destroy the soul of my business which is 43 years old, and the soul of my business is my employees. And when I see, that liquor stores are an essential business, well I find that ludicrous. I find that liquor stores can be, frankly existentially dangerous, so I opened, with the idea, where I opened with the idea that I want to protect my people, protect my country, and I’m not I’m not going to allow someone to dictate to me with something they’d have no idea.
So this morning, or this afternoon actually, the police came, they came in, they said are you open? I said my door is open. I haven’t been in my shop for three weeks. We’ve been closed, we owe a lot of money to a lot of people. We’ve applied to every government agency that you could possibly think of, we’ve got registration numbers, and we’ve heard nothing back. But we did hear that the Shake Shack and Ruth Chris etc. etc. and and the cruise ships are getting my taxes and that’s ludicrous. This country’s backbone of businesses like mine all over our country. I don’t find myself being brave, I find myself being reasonable. I find myself having common sense. So my door’s open, the rules are posted on the door. We’re observing every single rule and regulation that’s come down and they come. Go ahead sir.
Carlson: Well I’m just wondering what happened when the police came? So the police asked you are you open you said “indeed I am?” And then what did they say? Did they give you a ticket?
Rabin: No sir they did not. In fact, they looked at me, they said “you’re a veteran?” I said yes I am. (They said:) “Thank you for your service.” (I said:) Thank you for your service. I am open to clean my store, clean my inventory, and if people want to walk in, they’re allowed to walk in. I am NOT forcing them in, I am NOT a hairdresser where I’m close, I’m not a manicurist, I’m not a barber, I’m a retail store. And I’m open to the public, and if they want to walk in I’m not going to stop them from walking in. If they want to buy, I’m not going to stop them. We’ve maintained our distance and we avoided, we’ve obeyed every single rule. But I feel that this country is being dictated to unnecessarily. I think that personally I’m putting no one in danger.
Look, I’ve had seven angios, I just heard you a little while ago, I have said seven angioplasties, four stents, high blood pressure and peripheral artery disease, and I’m vertical (Carlson laughs). How ‘bout that?
Carlson: After this conversation, I wish we’d opened the show with you tonight and gone for 20 minutes because you are, you’re my kind of American and I hope that you’re rewarded for this and I hope that if you have any problems you will come back on this show and in the meantime, I hope New Yorkers will support you in what you’re doing. God bless you, good luck and I hope you’ll tell us what happens. Good
Rabin: I will do across the country thank you sir.
Carlson: Amen thank you I hope we see you again.