Pinoy resto in NYC opens new branch despite 'violations'
Kabayan 1 set to reopen soon, owner says. The FilAm photo
Kabayan Authentic Filipino Cuisine is addressing allegations it was closed down by the City for building and health violations.
Owner Cherry Castellvi said Kabayan was temporarily closed because a ‘bahay kubo’ structure at the back of the restaurant was constructed without a building permit.
Similarly, it had no permit to install a walk-in freezer and walk-in refrigerator at the back of the restaurant.
In the meantime Kabayan, originally located along Queens Boulevard, opened a second location on Roosevelt Avenue – called Kabayan 2 — to continue serving its customers while construction is going on.
Castellvi assured the public the original Kabayan — Kabayan 1 — will reopen early next week after it has complied with permit requirements by the Health Department.
“When the DOH came to do an inspection, they went straight to the back of my Kubo and (saw) my walk-in freezer and walk-in refrigerator. I need a permit,” she told The FilAm in an email.
She said Kabayan is “demolishing the ‘bahay kubo’ at the back of the restaurant because it was constructed without a permit from the Department of Building.”
Earlier, the SunnysidePost.com reported that Kabayan was closed by the Health Department Wednesday (July 27) after an inspector wrote it up for a dozen violations, from filth flies to evidence of mice.”
Kabayan 2 opened the following day, on July 28. Its Facebook page says it had a “very successful grand opening.”
The Sunnyside Post reports that Kabayan “racked up a whopping 109 violations and remains closed. The violations included the following, which are considered serious violations in the food and restaurant industry.
#4. Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. #5. Filth flies or food/refuse/sewage-associated (FRSA) flies present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. #9. Facility not vermin proof. Harborage or conditions conducive to attracting vermin to the premises and/or allowing vermin to exist.
Feedback from readers ranged from “yaki” to “it’s really disgusting po.” Castellvi did not address the alleged sanitation violations involving mice and flies when reached by The FilAm.
In the NYC Health Department website, Kabayan has a grade of ‘Closed.’ That can change once the Health Department is satisfied with the reforms made by management.
The Health Department, according to its website, “conducts unannounced inspections of restaurants at least once a year…to check for compliance in food handling, food temperature, personal hygiene and vermin control. Each violation of a regulation gets a certain number of points.” A letter grade of A means the restaurant has received at least 13 or fewer points. A grade of B or C means the restaurant has received more than 13 points and will be reinspected to see if changes have been made. A ‘Grade Pending’ means the inspection process is being appealed and not yet completed.
Castellvi said she will keep the Kabayan 2 location even after Kabayan 1 is approved to reopen. She told The FilAm, “We have leases on both places.” —The FilAm