In accordance with the relatively new restaurant grades, restaurants with grades lower than a B do not have to immediately post their score. They are allowed a chance to improve their conditions, and the Health Department generally returns to check on them within a month. However, there are more loopholes! Loopholes which are allowing 88% of the 650 Manhattan restaurants with C grades to keep that "Grade Pending" sign posted proudly in their windows. Among the sneaks is Gramercy Tavern, the city's most popular restaurant.

Gramercy Tavern scored a whopping 35 points on their inspection (anything over 28 is a C grade), with violations for things like personal cleanliness, "filth flies" and "Live roaches present in facility's food and/or non-food areas." Their last inspection was conducted in early December; they scored a sanitary 10 on their previous inspection in April. Their second inspection should be coming up shortly, but many of Manhattan's other low-scorers are continuing to stall their demise. If the second inspection still isn't A material, the restaurant can appeal to the department's Administrative Tribunal, which can take upwards of five months.

Lawyer Robert Bookman says the inspections are useless to consumers, calling them "snapshots in time" and arguing that restaurants shouldn't be held accountable if inspectors happen to come on a bad night. We've contacted Gramercy Tavern to see what they're doing to bring up their grades so the DOH will let them borrow the car Friday night.