When Stratis Morfogen opened his first Manhattan diner in the 1990s, he had no intention of one day telling a member of John Gotti Jr.’s crew to “go f–k themselves.”
But for “The Golden Greek” — a nickname Morfogen earned from his mob contacts for his money-making ways — standing up to the mafia became a way of life as an NYC-based restaurateur. Now, the owner of Brooklyn Chop House in lower Manhattan is naming names in his new book, “Be a Disruptor: Streetwise Lessons for Entrepreneurs ― from the Mob to Mandates,” out Tuesday.
Morfogen opened Gotham City Diner on the Upper East Side in 1993. Soon after, the mob made their presence known.
“I had a head of promotions, his name was Noel Ashman … one night Noel comes in with a black eye, I said, ‘What’s going on?’” Morfogen told The Post in an exclusive interview.
“Some gangster said we have to pay them every month or they’re going to continuously start beating us up,” Morfogen recalled him saying. “[Ashman] pointed out some names to me and I recognized that these are Gambino guys.”