The Lower East Side’s hottest restaurant, “Mission Chinese,” is going to be closed for an extended period while owner Danny Bowien addresses ongoing problems with the health department.
Today the metal gate is down at 154 Orchard St. and there’s a city Health Department notice taped to the window ordering the restaurant closed. A separate note reads, “we regret to inform you that we will be closed until further notice. There are many issues with our building and the surrounding area that we have been aggressively addressing. Unfortunately our best efforts have not been enough to date. We will remain closed until all issues are rectified.”
Earlier today, Eater spoke with Bowien, who said:
We’ve been struggling with this space since we took it over. I had no idea what I was doing when I opened here. We got this space, it was a really awesome deal, but I realized that it wasn’t up to code — the back space is a wooden structure. There’s a big condominium going up there, behind the restaurant, and they started digging. It’s the Lower East Side, so we’ve been inundated with a pest problem, and we had no one to point the finger at but ourselves. We did everything we could… we’re working with our landlord, and we’ve basically, come to the conclusion that we have to close the restaurant. It’s not a cleanliness issue — we didn’t have the cleanest kitchen in the world, but we fixed it. It’s something where we have to start with the problem — the area around the building. We feel like we could reopen, but I don’t want to run the risk the second time. I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for us. It’s a reality check for us. My concern is my staff, and everyone that works here. In order to make it a sustainable thing for all of us, we have to rebuild. We’re the luckiest restaurant in the world — we’ve experienced the highest of the highs. How we respond to adversity is what defines us as a restaurant, and taking responsible actions.
The health department also closed Mission Chinese last month. The agency has not updated its database today; Mission Chinese received 65 violation points in an October 1 inspection and was shuttered, but received only four points two days later and reopened.
Bowien still plans to open a second Orchard Street restaurant, Mission Cantina, in the old Noodle Bar spot November 20.