The mystery ensued when I was researching the story about the 106 point violation issued to Pompeii Lounge at 2919 Avenue S on December 30, 2008.
I went to find the location at Avenue S between Nostrand Avenue and East 29 Street, and found that there was a totally different establishment named TLV Bar and Lounge. Was I at the right address? Well, let’s see. There’s Tom’s Cleaners at 2917 Ave S and there’s Henry’s Delicatessen at 2921 Ave S. I guess I’m at the right place.
Earning 106 points in one inspection is no easy task, so I figured I’d speak to the owner to find out just how he was able to get such a high score, but there was no one lounging at TLV and the shutters were down. I asked for more information at their next door neighbor where a deli counter clerk told me that the place is open at night. As far as he knows, they are busy a few nights a week and closed on Fridays.
Read more about how I went from Pompeii to TLV after the jump.
My voicemail message to the number listed for the Pompeii Lounge yielded a call back from Moshe, the events booking manager. He told me that he knows nothing about the Pompeii Lounge, but he can help me with booking an event for TLV. Even though the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) closed the place at TLV’s address down, the manager was booking events and adding them to the online calendar.
Moshe seemed honest when he said that he really doesn’t know anything about the latest restaurant inspection. He took my name and information, promising that the owner — who is currently in Israel — would contact me.
It must be hard for the owner to check the temperature of the food from way over in another continent and if he’s the only one who holds the Food Protection Certificate — then it’s easy to see why he couldn’t be on premises when the inspector showed up.
It might be, though, that this was just one big clerical error on the part of the NYC DOHMH. Maybe, the 106 points that were issued to the Pompeii Lounge were meant for a different establishment of the same name located at another address. There is another Pompeii Lounge in the Bronx listed in the NY Citysquares directory.
I was just about to publish the post, when I noticed that the Pompeii Lounge had been inspected again on January 8, 2009 and “re-opened by DOHMH”, since there were zero violations found (thanks, EveryBlock RSS). Is that a clerical error or a typo — or could it be that the owner booked a quick flight out of TLV airport to take care of the disaster caused by the Pompeii eruption.
So, how does one go from Italy to Israel and from 106 violations points to zero in just one week? Maybe, they just stopped serving food and drink and are simply — lounging. Anyone up for a real “isreali night” this Thursday? Just don’t eat anything until this mystery is solved.