Two Weeks After Closure, Shalom Chai Pizza Struggles to Re-Open
Here’s an update on the situation at Grand Street’s Shalom Chai Pizza, one of the only kosher restaurants remaining on the Lower East Side. The place was closed by the Department of Health two weeks ago. An inspector cited the “evidence of mice,” “tobacco use” in food preparation areas and many other violations.
The restaurant, at 357 Grand St., is owned by David Tgar. A man answering the phone yesterday hung up before we could ask him any questions. But Frank Durant, general manager of the Seward Park Co-op (Shalom Chai’s landlord) said a Department of Health hearing is expected to take place tomorrow. Durant said he’s heard from many local residents who are concerned about the closure. Since Passover begins Monday evening, it seems likely Shalom Chai will be closed a good deal longer, even if the Health Department clears it to re-open.
Shalom Chai was inspected February 14, receiving 43 violation points. The Department of Health closed the restaurant following another inspection March 8, in which 61 violation points were recorded. The DOH made a return visit March 13, but still found serious problems, including continued “evidence of mice or live mice… in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.” Shalom Chai was also closed by the health department last May.
Our request for information from DOH has gone unanswered.