(I didn't know that Saturday would also be the day that the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene would shut Five Stuy Cafe for infractions. So this blog posting is very appropriate as it marks one of the first times that the city has decided to close a commercial property in Stuyvesant Town. In, like in "inside," and unless I'm mistaken there was no sign which told that the drinks and food were for "residents and their guests." Much like the adjacent Green Market. This sign is something mandated by the DoB and our good councilman Dan Garodnick. It was not shown anywhere as far as I know. No matter, the closure by the Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene was not because of the lack of this sign. As soon as the city tells us, we will inform residents why the place was closed, which had to be closed for a number of violations. This blog posting will address this issue specifically.)
It's worse than I thought. A photo to explain, partially:
Update, 11/28/16..Why it was closed (not counting the above, which is against the law):
Violations recorded in the following area (s), a Notice of Violation issued and establishment ordered closed by the Department of Health at the initial operational cycle inspection conducted on 11/26/2016.
2) Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation.
3) Food from unapproved or unknown source or home canned. Reduced oxygen packaged (ROP) fish not frozen before processing; or ROP foods prepared on premises transported to another site.
4) Food Protection Certificate not held by supervisor of food operations.
5) Personal cleanliness inadequate. Outer garment soiled with possible contaminant. Effective hair restraint not worn in an area where food is prepared.
6) Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.
7) Non-food contact surface improperly constructed. Unacceptable material used. Non-food contact surface or equipment improperly maintained and/or not properly sealed, raised, spaced or movable to allow accessibility for cleaning on all sides, above and underneath the unit.
8) Proper sanitization not provided for utensil ware washing operation.
Let's revisist Rick Hayduk's message to tenants:
Dear Residents of PCVST,
This afternoon at approximately 4:15pm the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene closed Five Stuy Café for infractions that were predominantly administrative in nature.
StuyTown Property Services is working closely with the third party operator of the café to resolve the infractions and subsequently schedule the necessary return visit by the inspector.
The infractions and a description of the infractions will be made public on the City’s website at www1.nyc.gov. Once posted, you’ll note most were administrative; there were also general food infractions that were immediately resolved.
The operators of Five Stuy are greatly disappointed, especially after receiving an “A” rating from their last inspection. They are committed to resolving the outstanding issues while implementing procedures such that the infractions are never revisited.
StuyTown Property Services shares their disappointment but remains confident in their ability to serve the residents of PCVST safe and delicious food, as they have since opening this past summer.
Should you have any questions or concerns, please direct them to the GM feedback line at 212.598.5288 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CEO | General Manager
"Safe and delicious"? "Predominantly administrative"? You be the judge.
This is the "A" grade given to Five Stuy Cafe on 7/28/16, "current" violations in red. Notice that this one critical violation is back again at number 6 in the new rating, of which only two restaurants in this zip code have been closed, the other being "The Vacancy Project":
1) Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.
2) Plumbing not properly installed or maintained; anti-siphonage or backflow prevention device not provided where required; equipment or floor not properly drained; sewage disposal system in disrepair or not functioning properly.
The city "rules": http://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/rii/blue-book.pdf
Take a look at the critical vs. general violations. There were six critical violations in Five Stuy Cafe. Also closing and re-opening.
Update 11/30/16: Since it has been raining yesterday and lousy today, chances are I won't be able to present more photos of the Five Stuy Cafe. The torn notice from the city is still there, of course.
I should say that Monday I took some more photos, some of which didn't come out as I wanted and one of which I didn't really want to show. It was a splayed out and very dead black squirrel not far from Oval Study. It was lying near the pedestrian walkway, but thankfully picked up before I got back. (Today, a Zamboni is going around and around the walkway smelling up the place, while it tries to gather all the fallen leaves.) Starting yesterday, from what I see, there are some people (one, two?) in the cafe trying to fix the place for the new inspection. The many spots outside where dogs piss are not part of the violations. I took photos of the darkened areas, though. How you can eat or drink, while a dog pisses nearby...well, it's up to you. Bon appetit!
Gone! The notice of closure of Five Stuy Cafe has been torn some more and wiped clean. It was there (the torn one) in the morning hours, but pre-lunch it has been completely erased/deep-sixed. There is an explanation which is not suspect. Let me repeat in case this is a "trap"--there is an explanation which is not suspect. But if you go to Five Stuy Cafe, you will find no sign.
I've taken photos, btw, but I must leave for a while.
Rick's new message to our community below. Note there is nothing to indicate that another voice, an employee, wrote the previous message. Rick doesn't distance himself from that first message, so it stands as coming from him.
Dear Residents of PCVST,
As stated in my note this past Saturday, Five Stuy Café, located on the Oval, was regrettably required to cease operation by the City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) after a routine inspection. The operator of the Café has been working diligently to rectify the violations in cooperation with the DHMH and was re-inspected today.
As such, StuyTown Property Services (SPS) is pleased to inform residents that the DHMH has authorized the re-opening of the Café tomorrow, Thursday, December 1st, at 6am.
SPS can assure residents, consistent with the DHMH’s re-inspection, that there are no further concerns with food preparation or food transportation processes. In accordance with standard DHMH protocol, the Café will have a “Pending” grade until a follow-up inspection is performed. At the conclusion of that inspection, the DHMH will re-issue a letter grade. Five Stuy Café’s operator has taken responsibility for the deficiencies, quickly corrected them, and asks the valued residents of PCVST to return to the Café to experience what has made them so successful since opening this summer. As a further expression of the operator’s sincere desire to welcome you back, enjoy a free Dough doughnut with the purchase of any item tomorrow (Thursday, December 1st) from 7 – 10am and 6 – 8pm.
Should you have any further questions or concerns, please contact the GM feedback line at 212.598.5288 or email@example.com or stop by to speak with the Café's operations manager.
CEO | General Manager
Right now the cafe has a "Grade Pending" rating. Once the new rating by the city will be given, it should appear in front of the window.
I asked whether the Tripp and Cooper restaurant, in Brooklyn, is owned by the same LLC--Cooper Cafe--as is Five Stuy Cafe. Interestingly, all the available references of Five Stuy Cafe are in the name of Stuyvesant Town, so this is a more difficult nut to crack. It appears that Tripp and Cooper is owned by the same people, though the specialty at Tripp and Cooper is crepes. The food/drink signs are similar and it is near Brooklyn Tech, so it has a college clientele. I am not, however, assuming that it is the same. If it is the same, the grading history is of interest. A summary is here. While currently the grade is A, it wasn't that way in the past. It doesn't surprise one that some constant problems exist: their Food Protection Certificate is frequently unavailable and the current letter grade is not posted all the time. The current letter grade is not "critical," so the establishment can piss off this requirement and still get an A grade. Again, I am not certain that the two establishments are owned by the same people, but I have my suspicions.
Also it should be noted that initially the "ungraded" grade of Five Stuy Cafe was B. This is never mentioned by anyone. All one hears about is A.
Incidentally this is the news item on this closure by TOWN & VILLAGE. Note the doggie urine stains on the side low wall.
Well, tomorrow, December 1st, Five Stuy Cafe opens again. Good luck!