It's a d**n shame.
Java D'Lites used to be a truly wonderful place. Those who went there know what I'm talking about. I first started going there in early 2006 when the doors first opened, and was a regular from then on.
It's undergone several ownerships over the past couple of years, but the changes were subtle. Unfortunately, the previous owner (and most successful) fell ill and to the way side. Stepping into his place is a guy known most commonly as Fred Alberts or Fred Denmark. A middle-aged Elvis Impersonator.
I liked Fred when I first met him about a year ago. He worked @ Java D'Lites both as an Elvis Impersonator a few times a month and in the AM behind the bar. He's very kind and friendly upfront, you'd never believe what he's capable of upon knowing him sparingly.
There are other legal matters I can not address as to how Fred came into the role of "owner" of Java D'Lites. That's still technically up for debate I believe.
However... I have been working PT at Java since the begining of '08, mostly voluntarily just because I was friends with the owner and I wanted to do whatever I could to help the business survive, plus... I was there anyhow.
The back story is important, so thank you for reading up until this point.
When that owner left, Fred and I were the only two employees. (Excluding a few individuals the ran Hookahs at night. One of those people occasionally works behind the bar as well). We both had to step up (for the sake of the business and its customers) We worked tirelessly throughout April of 2008, and after meetings with the Landlord and trying to get things situated, I was paid for that time.
Come May, 2008 Fred made claims that he was the new owner of Java D'Lites. He hired an 18 year old girl and then (for a week) he had hired another attractive young woman. (It's rumored that she had quit due to sexual harrassment). I have witnessed on numerous occasions indecent remarks, looks and gestures that Fred made to and behind the back of the 18 year old female employee. Other employees have as well. Comments about her breasts, how he wants to see them, and gestures like attempting to slip a $100 bill between her breasts while he stood over her from behind. Fred has also made remarks to young female customers, sometimes to the point of them walking out because they felt uncomfortable being there.
Fred said to us that we would get paid on Fridays. Of course when Friday came, there was no paycheck. No one really complained though because he took care of things in April, so being in a transitional period we trusted him. Again, when Friday arrived, no pay... the same goes for the following week... Then Fred said that he had a check (from higher up) only he hadn't made it to the bank yet. A few days later, Fred and I had a lengthy discussion. I was fed up with all his BS. I said "I need to pay rent & bills." (It was almost the 1st of the month and I had not been paid a single penny for the entire month of May.) I was owed $1,013.05.
Fred said to me (and I quote) "Business has been slow, I don't have any money to pay anyone." So obviously... there was no check. I was unaware that I was working on defferment, I never agreed to that! Whether you do $10 in business or $10,000 you need to pay your employees regardless. Now I have past due rent (late charges) it's June 5th and I STILL have received nothing! Plus I have my electric bill to pay. Fred conducted a staff meeting after my confrontation with him earlier that evening, he even produced a watery eye while telling us that the only reason he took over and kept Java D'Lites open was for us!!! So we wouldn't have to look for other work. What a crock!!! If that were the case, then why work your employees more hours than they usually put in, give them more responsibility and then preceed not to pay them.
The only person I can confirm that has received any money at all... is the 18 year old girl. What a suprise. However I am sure that I am not the only employee owed money.
Fred has vehemently said that he is not firing me, and I have said that I have no interest in quitting, of course Fred has not called me in to work since "our meeting" and I found out yesterday that they are training a new person.
That concludes "my" ripoff report of Fred Alberts, however read on if you really want to hear something interesting...
So apparently, there really is something to these claims of sexual harassment re: Fred Alberts / Denmark, but let's talk about what a sneak and con artist he is.
1. Fred has not cashed any of the credit card receipts taken at Java D'lites for over 1 month! He says that if he takes them to the bank, all the money will go to "xyz" company not to him. So, until the Java D'Lites name is changed, he's sitting on all those credit card receipts. (About half of our business is via credit cards).
2. There are many health code violations at Java D'lites. The previous owners kept the place spotless, not leaving until 4am or later in some cases because it's a nightly duty to clean everything. Fred does the majority of cleaning in the AM, and prefers to do it himself. Employees have volunteered to do this or that at closing, but Fred doesn't want to stay there late so he says "I'll do it in the AM". These practices have caused there to be a fruit fly infestation.
2A. Fred doesn't take the time to properly clean / rinse off the glasses before putting them in the dishwasher. The glasses are filthy with lipstick smudges and water stains and spots. Customers regularly complain, and I would too.
2B. There are piles of dirty rags (in the kitchen). That rarely get cleaned (also covered with flies).
3. Fred knows what the health inspector looks like and drives, and is always on the lookout. When he sees the health inspector in the plaza, he locks the doors, shuts the lights off and hides in back.
4. It's inconclusive whether or not the beer and wine license is active or not. Fred has told me that it isn't, though he continues to sell beer and wine. (I'll have to delve into that further).
5. The fire inspector (a very nice gentleman) came into Java D'Lites one afternoon. I was working there by myself. He said that he told Fred he'd be back to check the fire extinguisher in the kitchen, so I said 'Sure, go right ahead'. Upon seeing it he showed me that the tag was outdated and that to tell Fred this was his last warning. He said he'd be back in a week to check it again. I wrote a note and stuck it on the fire extiguisher itself, and reminded Fred several times throughout the week. Fred always saying, "I'll take care of it". The Inspector came back 12 days later. Fred did not comply. All he had to do was call a # and pay $30. The fire inspector fined him $145 and said he still had to renew it.
5A. I learned that Fred has since borrowed a fire extinguisher with a good tag on it from a neighboring business. ( I doubt they were aware of his intentions, outside of the fact that he just needed a fire extinguisher real quick).
6. Speaking of the fire inspector. He said that he received a complaint of a "heavy grease smell" and saw two small deep fryers that Fred uses. The fire inspector made me unplug them in front of him and further instructed me not to use them and to tell Fred that he could no longer use them without the proper ventilation system or hood. When I explained this to Fred the very first thing he did was plug them right back in. Fred has decided to not use the fryers during the day, hiding them in the back, and taking them out and using them only at night and on weekends.
6B. When I confronted Fred about using the fryers, I told him that knowing it's illegal, I wouldn't use them. He said "You have to use them if you work here". I said "You can't ask me to break the law". He said "Then don't work here".
7. Fred claims that the name has to change in order to do business with companies that supply us with food and drink, but according to Fred, changing the name costs upwards of $3,000. So Java D'Lites is frequently out of various items from food to flavor syrups to cups and napkins.
As I said earlier... it's a d**n shame. Java D'Lites used to be such a great place. I loved it, others loved it, it was a home away from home for a lot of people. Perhaps someday there will be another Java D'Lites type place here or somewhere else in Coral Springs. Don't blame Java D'Lites, the venue is a victim (just like I am).
Coral Springs, Florida