A message taped to the dining structure in front of a longtime Upper East Side sushi shop informs customers that the restaurant would be closed Monday and Tuesday to renovations, but something behind the locked door to its dining shed tells a different story about the shutdown. The unmistakeable bright yellow closure order from the NYC Health Department.
“Closed by order of the Commissioner of Health and Mental Hygiene,” reads the notice stuck to the front door of Tenzan 89, the popular Japanese restaurant located at 1714 Second Avenue, at the corner of East 89th Street in Yorkville for more than a decade.
However, passers-by on the sidewalk likely wouldn’t notice it. That’s because the front of Tenzan 89 is enclosed with a dining shed, with the door to the shed itself padlocked, so no one can get inside to give the official shutdown order a closer look.
Right next to the padlocked door, the restaurant has added a printed out message of their own for customers reading, “we are closed for renovation on August 29, Monday and August 30, Tuesday.”
It also says the sushi spot would be reopening on Wednesday.
However, rather than observing construction being done, Upper East Site saw workers cleaning inside Tenzan 89 on Wednesday morning.
It’s no surprise, considering the restaurant immediately shut down following its required inspection on August 29th.
On Monday, a Health Department inspector found a total of seven violations, most of them critical in nature, and slapped the restaurant with a total of 51 violation points.
The presence of filth flies, live roaches and evidence of mice were found by the inspector, who also noted that the facility is not vermin proof and could be attracting rodents or other pests. soiled wiping cloths were also being used at Yorkville restaurant, according to the inspection report.
The Health Department also found cold food items were allowed to get dangerously warm, though its not clear if the affected food was Tenzan’s fresh fish for sushi.
It’s not clear when the restaurant had last been inspected, that data wasn’t immediately available.
Upper East Site’s calls to Tenzan 89 for comment were not answered.