UPDATE: The cafe is expected to reopen Thursday morning, according to Stuyvesant Town General Manager Rick Hayduk. Hayduk said in an email to residents on Wednesday evening that the cafe was reinspected earlier in the day.
By Sabina Mollot
5 Stuy Café, which opened in Stuyvesant Town last summer, has been closed since Saturday afternoon, following an inspection by the Department of Health.
The café, despite recently scoring an A by the city, managed to rack up 50 violation points from eight violations. They included infractions such as food items being held above the allowed temperature of 41 degrees to having foods that were from “unapproved or unknown source or home canned” to “inadequate personal cleanliness due to an outer garment being soiled with a possible contaminant,” according to details from the inspection. Six of the reported violations were deemed critical.
Others included hot food items not held at or above 140 degrees, a food protection certificate not held by the supervisor of food operations and proper sanitation not provided for utensil ware washing operation.
The department notes on its website that the inspections scores may not be final, since restaurant owners are entitled to challenge them.
A spokesperson, Carolina Rodriguez, said, “5 Stuy Café was temporarily closed on Saturday for critical health violations that could not be corrected at the time of the inspection. The Department closes a restaurant only as a temporary, emergency measure when necessary to protect the public and lets the restaurant operator know what’s needed to correct the hazardous condition and reopen.”
She added that as of Monday afternoon, the restaurant’s operator, “Cooper Café LLC,” had requested a reopening inspection.
Asked why an inspection took place over a holiday weekend, Rodriguez said it was in response to a complaint.
StuyTown Property Services alerted residents to the closure on Saturday via email, saying it was temporary and that management was “working closely” with the third party operator of the café to resolve the problems. The email also called the problems “predominantly administrative in nature… There were also general food infractions that were immediately resolved.”
The email went on to say, “The operators of Five Stuy are greatly disappointed, especially after receiving an ‘A’ rating from their last inspection. They are committed to resolving the outstanding issues while implementing procedures such that the infractions are never revisited.”
A spokesperson for StuyTown Property Services declined to comment on the closure.
As far as the infractions, at least one appeared to be paperwork related. The one about food being from an unknown source was due to the restaurant not being able to prove to the inspector, via invoices or receipts, where the baked goods were purchased from, according to Department of Health data. A spokesperson said if a source can’t be verified then it’s possible the food was prepared at home as opposed to a commercial kitchen, which is against city and state law.
Last May, Stuyvesant Town’s general manager Rick Hayduk announced that 5 Stuy Café, named after the address at 5 Stuyvesant Oval, would replace Oval Café. Since the re-branding and an extensive renovation, the menu was expanded to include breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as items like artisanal doughnuts and pressed juices.