Tazza DOH’d

splash_tazza_03.gifAs of last night Tazza, 311 Henry Street, was closed by the DOH.  A sign on the door read that they were dealing with "the red tape" and hoped to be open soon.

According to DOH records, Tazzini (dba Tazza) received a mind blowing 84 violation points in its last inspection on May 30. Violations include evidence of flies and live mice (full list of violations is available at the DOH website). Previously, the cafe had never racked up more than 36 violation points.  It takes 28 or more points for an establishment to be a candidate for closure.

Share this Story:
  • brooklynbee

    It’s been a few days now. I’m sad that they’re closed, I really liked them. Just a week ago I had a fantastic salad there. I am also now scared to eat there again.

  • nabeguy

    While I appreciate the work of the DOH in their efforts to protect us from those restauranteurs who wouldn’t know the meaning of hygiene unless they looked it up in the dictionary, isn’t this latest blitz a bit over the top? It’s like they suddenly woke up and realized that there actually were guidelines all along. It’s not like people are dropping in the streets from the plague however.

  • ABC

    it was closed back on June 1sh — and it’s been closed ever since?

  • http://keever.livejournal.com keever

    I walked by yesterday and took a look at the DOH flyer. It was dated 5/30.

  • Teddy

    Now I know why it’s taking so long for them to reopen…if ever. They’re probably wondering if it’s worth it to reopen, especially with the plumbing/ lack of a proper hand washing facility violations. Dirty workers will also make some people think twice about going there.

  • joe

    Even though there is nothing overly exciting about Tazza in terms of their food, I like the place and the vibe and have gone there frequently. I hope they get their act together. I would frequent them again if they open.

  • Noone of Consequence

    Teddy, I would have to guess that unless they have a mechanism by which they can get out of their lease, that they will find a way to resolve the issues and re-open. Plumbing would be relatively cheap when compared to years of rent, not to mention not recapturing your investment.
    What’s suspicious, as with violations at other places, is that these conditions are endemic to the facility, not just a case of general uncleanliness or poor hygiene practices. And don’t food establishments need to be inspected before they even open and/or architectural plans need to adhere to the building or health code(s)?

  • nabeguy

    Noone, you raise a good point. I could understand John’s Pizzaria getting hit with a sink charge, as they’ve been around longer than the DOH rules, but it would seem that Taza, and any other restaurant that’s opened in recent years, should have been required to get some kind of DOH certification to operate. It seems that somebody in B’burgs administration put the hammer down and implemented this current zero tolerance policy as a result of one embarrassing news report, which says more about the inherent corruption of bureaucracy than the hygiene habits of our local chefs.

  • http://selfabsorbedboomer.blogspot.com Claude Scales

    “[I]nherent corruption of bureaucracy”? It’s ironic that bureaucracy, as we know it, with its civil service qualifications, strict seniority system and general rule-boundedness, was instituted to thwart what was seen as the inherent corruption of patronage and the “spoils system.”

  • nabeguy

    Unfortunately, it’s bloated nature tends to court, not thwart, such corruption. OMO, but it’s only served to codify and institutionalize what had previously been an implicit agreement between scoundrels.

  • All of Her Cromwell

    I wonder how many health code violations the average kitchen in a private home would rack up.

  • Homer Fink


  • Teddy

    “I wonder how many health code violations the average kitchen in a private home would rack up.”

    Most likely as many violations as Tazza if not more, but the average kitchen in a private home only serves at most a handful of people everyday. In other words, only members of one family will get sick, not dozens of people (unless they’re hosting a party).

  • strozzi

    Well, they reopened this weekend and it was SO good to have Tazza back. The sheer number of violations speaks for itself: absurd. I have a sense as a diner of when a place is clean or dirty, and Tazza strikes me as pretty clean. It’s a very old building, obviously, and they seem to have had to cure building stuff or construction issues that were overlooked by the DOH before they opened.

  • Homer Fink

    Strozzi — excellent observation.

  • L. Morse

    Tazza is one of the coolest places in the Heights. I am a customer since they opened and come in at least two or three time each week. Too bad that the NYC DOH had the problem with the bad publicity they received after they passed Taco Bell and then had someone video the real conditions and post it on You Tube. So the DOH is trying to cover their back by clamping down and shutting hundreds of restaurants in the metro area in the past months. Obviously no one wants to eat in a restaurant that is not up to standards. However, I have been in the business as a restaurant supplier for many years and have visited hundreds of kitchens from fast food to four star. Let’s face it, on any given day an inspector could probably close down most of the restaurants if they actually gave them points for every violation they found. The reality has been that they do make the restaurants pay fines, but have been lenient with the closings. I have also been witness to many inspections and some took hours to write up all of the violations and yet the premises were not shut. Looking at a different aspect of this, everyone knows that the same standards are not observed for outdoor food street vendors that are required in sit down restaurants. Food storage temps, food prep., clean work surfaces, washing facilities, hand contamination, fly and vermin issues, etc. I would like to know how many of these guys are put out of business or closed for violating the DOH rules. All restaurants have to pay exterminators to protect them and that means they are usually contracted to be at the restaurant at least once each week. They are not there because the restaurant enjoys their company. As far as I am concerned, restaurants should protect themselves and the public as much as possible. I don’t draw the line until I see something that disturbs me or hear about people dropping from the food that they were served at any particular eatery. Anyone who has
    additional interest in the subject should visit the following: http://www.eater.com/ http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3190/is_15_41/ai_n19001099

  • D. Francis

    What’s the big deal here? Too bad these two young women trying to make a living and who provide their neighbors with a decent place to go have to get caught up in this negative publicity. As the following article states most New Yorkers just shrug when it comes to this kind of nonsense. I refer you to the NY Times story at:

  • Arthur_G

    In terms on NYC filth, I still think rats are a bigger, though no longer as political an issue, as restaurant kitchens.

  • http://www.readytoorderguide.com Gready To Order? Guide

    The only thing that I have to say is that I’m glad that the neighborhood is happy of the return of a popular business like Tazza, that won is battle against a very sad situation in New York against restaurants right now.

    Welcome back Tazza

  • http://www.readytoorderguide.com Ready To Order? Guide

    The only thing that I have to say is that I’m glad that the neighborhood is happy of the return of a popular business like Tazza, that won is battle against a very sad situation in New York against restaurants right now.

    Welcome back Tazza

  • Kerry

    I had a terrific lunch at Tazza today . The food was great and the staff as friendly as ever. So glad they are back…