Restaurant Report Card: August 2011

Each month, on the second Wednesday, we post a report of restaurants in the 10002 ZIP code that scored 28 points or more–the equivalent of a “C” grade–on their health department inspections the previous month. We also call out establishments that excelled, by earning three points or fewer. August proved a difficult month for several notable local restaurants—among them, Beauty & Essex, Kuma Inn and Falai (which is now closed)—as well as a handful of popular nightlife spots, such as White Star, Gallery Bar and Foundation (which was shuttered after an Aug. 19 inspection).

For details on how the city grades food establishments, see the guide (PDF). Because of the way the city’s online search function operates, we cannot link directly to individual reports here, but you can visit the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s website, type in the name of any restaurant and view the details of inspectors’ findings for all recent visits. For past months’ reports, see our Restaurant Report Card archives.

Here’s the report for August.

Gallery Bar Owner Speaks Out on Underage Drinking Crackdown

Gallery Bar, 120 Orchard Street.

More this morning on the 7th Precinct’s crackdown on Lower East Side bars and clubs. At a community meeting last week, Captain David Miller said underage drinking is a problem in several neighborhood nightlife venues. 

Gallery Bar Back in Business

Outside Gallery Bar this past weekend.

Here’s an update on the situation at Gallery Bar, the nightlife destination at 120 Orchard shuttered March 11th by the NYPD. They were back in business this past weekend, with a few additions (including two really big doormen managing very orderly crowds lined up on the sidewalk).

As we indicated last week, Judge Joan Kenney cleared the bar to re-open after its owners and city attorneys settled the civil case, which had been filed by the police department’s legal bureau. Among several conditions, Eater reported, the NYPD insisted and owner Darren Rubell agreed to hire extra security. The bar will also apparently be bringing in a sound engineer to look at better noise proofing.

Follow-up: Gallery Bar Cleared to Re-Open

Last weekend, the NYPD shut down the Gallery Bar, 120 Orchard Street, for several alleged offenses, including serving alcohol to minors.  This afternoon, we’re hearing the bar’s owners and the city have reached an agreement allowing the business to re-open.

The Police Department got a temporary restraining order to shut Gallery Bar down last Friday evening. They were pursuing a civil case in State Supreme Court. The two sides met with Judge Joan Kenney yesterday. The bar agreed to several stipulations (conditions for re-opening). We’re working on getting a list of these conditions.

In the past several months, the 7th Precinct has been coming down hard on bars and clubs on the Lower East Side. We’ll have more on this situation tomorrow.


Follow-up: Gallery Bar Shuttered by NYPD

Late last night we reported the Gallery Bar, 120 Orchard, had been shut down by the NYPD. Eater has more details this morning:

We spoke with Gallery Bar owner Darren Rubell last night who confirmed the news, saying that the PD, as is their wont, got a court order declaring the bar a public nuisance on Friday afternoon. Then 15 to 20 uniformed officers walked into the bar early Friday evening and forced them to shut down right as the weekend was getting started, a severe loss of income for any operation and leaving Gallery Bar’s 20 employees without a job for at least one week. Rubell says the bar has a court date on Wednesday afternoon and they are still figuring out if they are going to fight the charges or look to settle. Rubell says that Gallery bar has been under investigation since September 2010, and the complaint includes four instances of an undercover and underage agent getting inside. Apparently these agents were once able to bribe a security guard to get inside, and also had a few instances of an undercover agent showing up at 7 PM and never getting carded, things that seem a bit weak to shut a business down. Rubell believes that he may have been a target after he spoke up at a meeting last week between over 20 Lower East Side business owners and the local precinct. His main beef was that police enforcement of “problem bars” seems to ramp up from 0 to 60, with an end result of bars being shut down… Rubell said that both Hi Fi and Common Ground went through the same thing last weekend, except the judge who gave the order to the NYPD in those cases did not force them to close. Gallery Bar was not so lucky…

For more background, see the story we posted back in December on the 7th Precinct’s crackdown on nightlife establishments on the Lower East Side.

NYPD Shuts Down Gallery Bar at 120 Orchard Street

It you walked by the Gallery Bar, 120 Orchard Street, this weekend you probably noticed the “restraining order” notices taped to the metal drop-down gate.  The notices allege the “illegal sale of alcoholic beverages,” “employment of unlicensed security guards” and “operating in such a manner which endangers the safety/health of a number of persons.”

A check of the internet turned up the following tweet transmitted Friday night around 11pm:

A note attached to the drop-down gate earlier in the weekend read, “sorry for the inconvenience. We will be open again as of Wednesday.” Gallery Bar is owned by Darin Rubell, Joshua Boyd and Derrek Vernon.  We have emailed them for comment.

UPDATE 11:54am 3/14/2011 Eater spoke with gallery Bar’s owner.

ARTLOG to Host “Collect L.E.S.” Art Crawl

Artlog, an impressive online site for New York artists and art lovers, is teaming up with the New York Observer, the LES B.I.D. and the New Museum (for the third year in a row) for a one-night, private, art crawl this Thursday evening.

Artists Showcase to Benefit Ugandan Children at Gallery Bar Tonight

Image from

Third City, New York will host an artist showcase benefiting L.E.A.D Uganda – founded by photographer Stephen Shames – to raise money for abandoned children in Uganda affected by AIDS, war, and poverty. 

ARTS WATCH – Genesis Breyer P-Orridge Back In The Limelight; Bars As Art Spaces

The New York Post features a story about "Unlikely Art Spaces" featuring the local Gallery Bar and others that use their art spaces as bars and use their bars as art space.

Gpo_30years-1 Invisible Exports will host the opening for their exhibition, "Genesis Breyer P-Orridge: 30 Years of Being Cut Up" tomorrow night at their gallery at 14A Orchard Street.  The show is a 30-year
retrospective devoted to the work of the legendary underground
musician, visual artist, performer and provocateur Genesis Breyer
. Check out NY Magazine's recent profile of the artist, who is still undergoing work on his current "long-term project" which involves turning himself in to his late wife,
Jacqueline Breyer.  The exhibition will run through October 18th.

Free Live Music In The Hood Tonight

Graphic_strip2Along with Architects + Demolition Men at Abrons tonight, you can catch Slick Rick and DJ Phaze at the East River Park ampitheater at 7:00p as part of City Parks Foundation free summer concert series. 

Then head over to the OUTKAST Mix CD Release Party at Gallery Bar (on Orchard St. above Delancey) for "free giveaways, open bar
Belvedere Vodka and a sick line up of DJ's".