[Update below] Andy Ricker's destination Thai restaurant Pok Pok Ny along the Brooklyn waterfront has been forced to temporarily halt service following a recent DOH inspection. The alleged culprit: two outdoor BBQ grills that an inspector deemed not up to code. From the restaurant's website:
Unfortunately, Pok Pok Ny has been forced to temporarily close. The problem stems from our outdoor, covered cooking area where we keep our two charcoal BBQs. Until we can satisfy the city that we are compliant with DOB and FDNY code, in that the structure covering the BBQs is legal, we must remain closed. The rest of our facility was determined to be in "A" grade condition. We are working with the city as quickly as we can to reopen. Our Whiskey Soda Lounge Ny, just across the street is available, as is Pok Pok Phat Thai, in the Lower East Side.
The Health Department's inspection report cites a "food contact surface improperly constructed or located. Unacceptable material used," which could point to the grills. All together, the restaurant racked up 50 violation points, including improper food contamination prevention and improper utensil storage. We reached out to the Health Department for more details of the shutdown and we'll update when we hear back.
As Ricker notes in his statement, Pok Pok's sister restaurant Whiskey Soda Lounge is right down the block, where you can procure those addictive chicken wings if you can't wait. Just be prepared for double the line without two restaurants to offset the crowds.
Update: The Health Department shed some light on exactly what the problem was with the grills, telling Gothamist the following:
Pok Pok was closed due to a public health hazard that could not be immediately corrected. In this case, they built an illegal structure in their backyard for charcoal grilling that was only partially enclosed, and the raw food kept outside for grilling was not protected from potential sources of contamination, such as rats, mice and birds. They also did not have permits from the Department of Buildings or the Fire Department to build this structure.
Calls to the restaurant went unanswered but a recording says they'll be open for dinner tonight at 5:30 p.m.