Famed Upper West Side deli Barney Greengrass remains closed following failed health inspection

Kemberly Richardson Image
Wednesday, October 16, 2019

UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- The front door is not the only thing that needs fixing at Barney Greengrass on the Upper West Side, where on a routine visit Thursday, city health inspectors found nine violations and temporarily shut down the legendary Jewish deli and restaurant.

"I'm sure they'll clean it up, but they are a neighborhood institution, so hopefully they'll take care of it," customer Melissa Sanchez said.

Inspectors say they found food not being held at the correct temperature, roaches and close to 300 mouse droppings in the kitchen and storage areas.

Cari Whitney and her mom, like many other loyal customers, are devastated that their go-to place is, for now, a no-go.

"The best latkes and I want to go back - oh, and blintzes," Whitney said.

The family-run eatery has been a favorite among celebrities and the backdrop for movies and TV shows but it is not the first time they failed inspection.

In June of this year, it was slapped with three violations - again, mice and their droppings were the problem. In 2017, there were seven violations, and there was a similar case in 2016. Each time, owner Gary Greengrass cleaned up his act, and the location reopened.

This round of inspections happened during what many consider the busiest week as customers were getting ready for Yom Kippur.

Greengrass told Eyewitness News that the family-run eatery misses its customers and looks forward to opening back up again soon. He also disputed some of the violations from city health officials, saying refrigeration was working and foods were being kept at their proper temperature.

He says one item out of temperature was a container of cooked noodles that was to be used in soup.


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