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2003_9_permitup.jpgSome might think being voted Zagat's Best Newcomer Restaurant would make the owners aware, with all the i's dotted and t's crossed. But, no, the restaurant Compass on West 70th was closed last night, for operating without a permit. A gaggle of Upper West Siders were dumbfounded at the closing, wondering if the closing was really due some suspicious meat or rodents. One man said incredulously, "Compass? Closed? Are you kidding me?" while his small son cried, "But I see people inside! There are people inside!" However, the only people inside were the pouting and sheepish staff members, who said Compass would be open today. Luckily for the hungry, neighborhood institution Cafe Luxembourg was brimming with business as usual next door. Hmm, owners & managing partners Lewis Pell and Leonard Schwartz better get their act together, because even Rocco's managed to have a permit.

Eric Asimov gave Compass a more than respectable 2 stars in the Times. And since Zagat's is subscription-only, Citysearch on Compass. And according to the searchable database of restaurant inspection information, Compass passed their last inspection in July 2002.