July 20th, 2011
[UPDATE at Gothamist. reBar passed the inspection and back open.]
A roller coaster week for restaurants in Dumbo. First Bubby’s Brooklyn gets shut down over the weekend by the Department of Health, and now reBar gets the Health Department shut down yesterday. reBar owner Jason Stevens tells DumboNYC that they will reopen for dinner tonight. According to a story on Gothamist, Jason says, “The violations were for general stuff; we had a hot water issue that was caused when the core electrical went down in the building on the same day the inspectors showed up. I had no refrigeration, no hot water. All the violations have been corrected today, and we hope to reopen tomorrow.” When asked about these electrical problems, Jason explains that property owner Joshua Guttman had something to do with saving electricity.
We’re fans of reBar, so this could be that the Health Department is being more critical with every detail, which is a good thing. However, a quote about inspector bribes bothers us. Supposedly this has been cleared up at DOH, which is why the inspector was overzealous. From the Gothamist article:
“One inspector explained it to me. He said, ‘Listen, dude, if I go back to the office without violations on you, they’re going to think you bribed me.’ I said, ‘That’s a fucked up system!’ He goes, ‘Yup. There were a lot of inspectors taking bribes, they did a huge revamp at the DOH and they told me if we come back without a violation they’re going think we were bribed.’ “
Isn’t there an objective checklist that the DOH can state as fact or not? The NYT questions the letter grade system when there’s a “sharp break in the distribution that occurs around the grade cut-off point” from A to B.