Yesterday we reported that beloved Ray's Candy Store on Avenue A was shut down by the Department of Health for a number of violations, including but not limited to an extensive mice infestation. But omnipresent East Village denizen and excellent photographer Bob Arihood reports that after the inspectors shut him down, owner Ray Alvarez went to sleep... and his employees opened for business, even serving two cops who made purchases despite the big yellow DOH sticker on the door. Unsurprisingly, the DOH wasn't too pleased about this.
"They talk nice but they break your back," Alvarez, 78, told Arihood yesterday, adding that he decided to stay open because he desperately needs to pay the rent. It was business as usual at Ray's until about 4 p.m., when inspectors returned and fined the snack shop owner $2,000 for violating the shut-down order. Arihood reports, "The inspector demanded that all food products; hot dogs, coffee, milk etc. be discarded and all food sales ended." No one is answering the phone at Ray's Candy Store today, and the future looks grim once again for this neighborhood institution.