MANHATTAN – A popular Upper East Side restaurant that’s been a neighborhood fixture for nearly a decade was shut down this week by the Health Department inspectors. The Meatball Shop’s UES location is now closed to the public while violations are corrected.
“Closed by order of the Commissioner of Health and Mental Hygiene,” reads the bright yellow notice with large black all-capital letters stuck to the glass front door of the Meatball Shop on Second Avenue between East 77th and 78th Streets.
The Health Department forced the Meatball Shop shut down on Tuesday, May 3rd, after an inspection revealed the facility wasn’t vermin-proof, with evidence of rats and mice at the restaurant as well as filth flies. A total of thirty-five violation points were issued.
Prior to this week, the Meatball Shop’s Upper East Side location had not been inspected by the Health Department since the summer of 2019, when it received only ten violation points.
Restaurant workers were seen outside the building on Wednesday sealing a door frame with insulation and cleaning the staircase leading to the eatery’s basement.
The Meatball Shop opened on the Upper East Side in August 2013, at the time the fifth and largest location in the popular restaurant chain. Right now, there are only two other restaurants in the group, located in Hell’s Kitchen and Williamsburg.
The UES restaurant was a homecoming of sorts for owners Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow who grew up on the Upper East Side and worked together as delivery boys at Candle Cafe as teenagers, later launching their first restaurant in 2010.
Upper East Site reached out to the Meatball Shop for comment on the closure by the NYC Health Department, we’re waiting to hear back.
UPDATE: According to DOHMH data, The Meatball Shop reopened after it was reinspected on May 9th and no violations were recorded.