A trendy Upper East Side coffee and pastry shop has been shut down by the New York City Department of Health after an inspection this week revealed evidence of rodents, insects and cross contamination concerns inside the cozy Lenox Hill cafe known for its rich, flavorful brews.
A bright yellow notice reading “Closed by Order of the Commissioner of Health and Mental Hygiene,” is now affixed to the front door of the shuttered Le Réveil Coffee and Bakery, located at 1322 Second Avenue, right outside the 69th Street entrance to 72nd Street Q subway station.
Despite four stars on Yelp and a long list of positive reviews from satisfied customers, Le Réveil was forced to close on Tuesday, January 24th, after an inspector reported four violations, three of them critical, for a total of 38 violation points.
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While that may not sound like a particularly high number, the Health Department tells Upper East Site it “requires a restaurant to close when there are conditions that make dining unsafe and those hazards cannot be corrected at the time of the inspection,” adding that “there is no point threshold for closure.”
Filth flies were found inside Le Réveil Coffee, as well as evidence of mice, according to the inspector, who noted that the facility is not vermin-proof and could be attracting rodents or other pests.
A surface used to prepare food was also found to not be sanitized or cleaned after each use, raising the risk for cross-contamination between cooked and raw ingredients, according to the inspection report.
The coffee shop was previously inspected last July, when it received 37 violation points, also over rodent and cross-contamination concerns, among others.
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At the coffee shop on Thursday morning, Upper East Site observed several would-be customers trying to get inside, pulling on the locked front door. One young couple gasped when they saw the bright yellow closure order stuck on the front door.
In addition to its French-style coffee, Le Réveil is known sweet and savory pastries, including croissants, cakes, cookies, muffins, Portuguese pastel de nata — a type of egg custard tart — and even Brazilian cheesy bread known as ‘Pao de Queijo’
Le Réveil Coffee and Bakery told Upper East Site the closure was related to an issue in the basement storage area and they hoped to be back open on Friday.
Update: Le Réveil did not reopen on Friday.
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