Macaroni and cheese mecca S'Mac can't catch a break when it comes to surprise visits from the Department of Health. They were briefly shut down last year after racking up 71 violation points during an inspection, and now it looks like they've been shuttered after failing an inspection once again.
DNAinfo reports that S'Mac earned 64 violation points during an inspection on Monday. According to the DOH's website, these infractions included evidence of live mice in food and/or non-food areas and evidence that the facility was not vermin proof, in addition to a number of violations related to the restaurant's failure to properly refrigerate food items.
We reached out to owners Sarita and Caesar Ekya for comment, and will update when we hear back; meanwhile, Sarita Ekya told DNAinfo the restaurant's main refrigerator broke down right before the inspection. "This is dumb luck and bad timing,” she said, noting that the vermin-related violation stemmed from a hole in a wall in the employee locker room. "Other than that, we don’t have any kind of rodent or vermin issue in the space."
S'Mac shut down in May 2013, after inspectors found evidence of mice, poor bathroom conditions and soiled wiping cloths. The restaurant scored a relatively pristine 17 points during an inspection at the end of that month, and racked up a mere 23 points during an inspection this past November.
Update 12:27 a.m.: Sarita Ekya tells us:
Our walk-in refrigerator started malfunctioning on Sunday night and, before we could get someone out to look at it on Monday, a health inspector showed up. It wouldn't normally be a violation worthy of a shutdown, but because we have a history with being shut down last year, they are much more stringent and asked us to close and repair it.
They expect to reopen early next week.