Welcome2Melrose received the tip from local Concourse resident, William C., that Giovanni's restaurant - a local favorite Italian eatery at 579 Grand Concourse and East 150th street, was shut down by the Department of Health.
A walk over to the popular bar and restaurant did indeed the show that the gates had come down and that the DOH had placed the bright yellow, "CLOSED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH" stickers of death on two of the restaurant's entrances. When two different individuals were asked why they were shut down, two very different answers were given. One older gentleman did try to block me from taking a picture of the signs and he also claimed that "something" had broken in the kitchen. Another man at the entrance on the Concourse simply stated that they were shut down because of a "gas leak". Now we all know that Con Edison would have been on the scene not the Department of Health.
According to New York City's Department of Health website, the last inspection of Giovanni's was on 8/2/2010 and were cited for 3 violations for a total of 17 violation points. 2 of the 3 violations were considered critical and highlighted by red text which read as follows:
1) Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation.
2) Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility's food and/or non-food areas.
Once a restaurant has been inspected by DOH and have received several critical violations, inspectors will return to see if the situation has been remedied which leaves one to wonder what else did they find upon their second visit? Busboys and staff were scrambling inside vacuuming and cleaning up the restaurant but as I got closer to take a picture, the gates were lowered.