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Two Weeks After Closure, Shalom Chai Pizza Struggles to Re-Open

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Shalom Chai Pizza, 357 Grand Street.
Shalom Chai Pizza, 357 Grand Street.

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.

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  1. With no competition, this place has managed to survive by running a filthy establishment over many years. I think they have been closed down at least twice over the past 8 years. They really need to bring in new owners who know how to run a restaurant. Kosher does not equal clean but this place is ridiculous.

  2. I wouldn’t eat here if you paid me. Last time I ate there, a mouse ran under my table. the owner laughed when I complained. they were closed down shortly after that. My mother ate there once and received a Falafel with a partial body of a water bug. The owner shrugged it off. they have been open for many years, a dirty establishment. they are the only kosher restaurant in this area, so of course their constituents are Jewish people who dominate the lower east side, east of grand street. I shiver just thinking about it. They have had so many violations, they should be ashamed of themselves and be shut down for good.

  3. This comment is from Clayton Patterson:

    Over the years I have eaten there many times and have not witnessed the terrible conditions people mention. But the Health Department
    did shut the place down so enough said.

    I do hope the place reopens. It is much more than a Pizza parlor. It is one of the last of the old school, LES, Jewish Grand Street social places for the elderly and those people on fixed income to meet and hang out. The only place young people and families can get a slice of kosher pizza. It is a good central location to met a friend and so on…

    It is not the Garden Diary Cafeteria or Ratners, but they are gone so what is left? What do people want a 7 11?

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