Friday, May 20, 2011

Developing: Today may be the last chance for Ray's

Shit Week Continues at Ray's. Per Bob Arihood at Neither More Nor Less, today may be the last inspection for Ray before the DOH intervenes. Bob writes: "We don't know at this time if this means expensive major renovations and new equipment too."

Renovations and equipment that Ray can't afford. Thus, the end of Ray's. Not that we're jumping to the worst-case scenario right away or anything.

Read Bob's post here.


Arthur said...

Ray's has been around for a long time, for sure, & is certainly part of the neighborhood culture.

But you have to follow health codes, which Ray hasn't done. You have to keep the place clean, free of mouse droppings, and in working order. That hasn't happened & this is the result.

It's sad, yes, but it's neither a conspiracy nor unfair.

I hope Ray's stays open, but only if the place passes inspection.

Lisa said...

I am sure all those heartless Anonymous jackasses who smugly sniped that this was what Ray deserved for having the temerity to try and survive are dancing little jigs of happiness right now. Enjoy your inhumanity, you precious, "Ooh, dirt!" fucks.

Arthur said...

Well, Lisa, I think that's a pretty snide comment.

I think most people want Ray's in the neighborhood, but want him to stay in the neighborhood in a clean shop that doesn't have mouse droppings all over the place & is up to code.

That's not too much to ask.

Goggla said...

I just walked by today (2pm) and he was still closed. Looked like someone was cleaning inside...I felt so helpless. I really hope he's able to re-open soon.

Anonymous said...

Lisa, the only comments laced with attitude and swear words like ' fu@k and jacka$$ are coming from the people who blindly support Ray . I have written most of the longer comments explaining why people should judge Ray the way they would a landlord if he/she put their pockets ahead of the health and well being of the people who live here. Wrong is wrong. However, I was insulted, had my intelligence attacked, and called names. Bottom line, Ray does not and never has cared about the health and well being of his cliental . He's a business man and he cares most about his pockets. Wake up kid. Just because you're older and you've spent a lot of time in one place doesn't make you a good person.

Lisa said...

@Arthur - This is New York. There are rats, mice, cockroaches, soot and dirt everywhere. I have plenty of friends with all of the above in their apartments (well okay not rats), and they continue to eat in their kitchens without calling EMS or dying. I have been a customer for 30 years and never had a problem, as have countless others. And you can't seriously think his is the ONLY part of the building with mouse issues, that somehow they confine themselves strictly to his storefront, can you? It's building-wide, and vermin issues are the landlord's responsibility to deal with and clear up, but they would probably love to get rid of Ray and put in a pocket bar, so of course they are not helping him. Anyway, if he has cleaned up the droppings and blocked the holes, as it seems, then why is he still being harassed? This has crossed the line from productive to punitive, and you are indeed a naif if you don't see that.

Again, New York is a dirty city. If you want purity and pristine conditions, go live in a Zen monastery.

Arthur said...

I don't think anyone's asking for 100% clean conditions, which is why the health code offers letter grades. There are levels of acceptable cleaniness (A, B, C), & if you don't reach those you get shut down. Seems a fair system to me.

I don't see how this is punitive. He had mouse shit all over the place--that's problematic.

& while he may not be causing the mouse problem, if it's in the space he prepares or stores food, of course it's his problem to deal with! As it should be.

If he cleans that up, cleans up the other issues, then it's fair game to open. But of course he'll be on the DOH's bad side: he blatantly ignored a shut down order from him & then spoke about it to the press.

It's not as if the rules don't apply to him just because he's been there for a long time.

Do you really think this is some DOH conspiracy to help out the landlord of the building collect more rent?

Arthur said...

And if people have been cleaning there around the clock, isn't that an admission that things were pretty dirty there in the first place?

They wouldn't need to clean for the past 24 hours if the shop was presentable in the first place.

Again, I hope he opens back up, but only if the place is ready to go.

Marty Wombacher said...

Lisa makes a great point saying that most of our home kitchens would never pass a DOH inspection. I've eaten at Ray's plenty of times and have never gotten sick. I guess I have a super-human metabolism.

EV Grieve said...

To my good fortune, I've only had food poisoning once — from the now-deceased Bamboo House on Second Avenue at Sixth Street.

I also got sick after making a pastrami omelette, though that may have just been a mild heart attack.

Anonymous said...

Too bad Ray could not move into the former Zoom spot--probably the same rent but way better conditions. Just sayin.

Anonymous said...

Marty , it is not a great point. Cleanliness, or at least what appears to the average guest as cleanliness, always takes a back seat to other more critical violations that can put the public health at great risk. Go to the DOH site and check out what Ray was find for. Mostly, it has to do with the way he handles and stores easily to contaminate perishable foods. The list of sicknesses that can be passed along to the public by simply not keeping your deli case at the right temp is endless. And there's never any excuse for cross-contamination in the year 2011. Go check out the Food Handlers Course online at the DOH web site. It's free. Everyone who runs a food biz is required to have passed this course. At this point , I have to wonder if Ray has ever taken it.
Further, as stated before, here's a guy who for years made fries in his place without an fire dept. approved hood or ansil system. When asked to stop this incredibly dangerous practice , he refused and kept right on doing as he pleased. Basically, his pockets were more important than the safety of the whole block God forbid a fire broke out. He's lucky it didn't happen.

Anonymous said...

Gosh--I just scrubbed my cabinet and shelves..greasy--I am pretty clean. Ray has to contend with an older building with shit and rats and roaches. Why is he the only one to blame???

Kurt said...

I doubt any of out homes could pass a DOH inspection. Not many of can say we have a seperated sink in our food prep area dedicated to hand washing but that having been said it's not a mystery what the standards are to pass an inspection. The only critcal violation in Ray's inspection is the "Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility's food and/or non-food areas." I know of 3 business that get DOH inspections on a regular basis and all 3 have mice and rats. It's NYC it's inevitable but they've just done a better job of keeping the "evidence" of mice away.

Anonymous said...

Kurt, you are correct that as of today the mice thing is Ray's only violation . However if you look at the inspection that took place a week earlier, that was not the case. Out of respect for Ray , I will not post those results.

Marty Wombacher said...

@Anonymous 3:14 PM: Fined. F-I-N-E-D. Fined.

Lisa said...

Oh yeah, cos Ray makes SUCH a FORTUNE running that little hole in the wall selling things at a buck or two a pop! Jesus, Anon., you keep yammering about how he kept putting his "profits" ahead of customer safety and all he cared about was "his pockets". Did you read the interview with Ray that set this whole mess off? Here's an excerpt:

"I don't know what to do," said the 78-year-old. "I cannot afford it either way. I cannot stay closed, I cannot stay open. I'm stuck in a bad situation."

Does that sound like someone rolling in dough? To me it sounds like someone trying to keep his head above water. And for your info, Ray DID stop selling fries, a good source of income for him, for a long time while he was yanked around by some incompetent contractor who was supposed to install the stove hood that would make it legal for him to fry again. You make him sound like Vlad the Impaler, hatching a nefarious plot to poison or kill as many of his clientele as possible, instead of just being a sad and slightly desperate old man who finds himself in a situation he does not seem to be able to extricate himself from, no matter how he tries.

Ya know, even though you don't think I am a "good person" (as if you would know), I hope when YOU are 78 you have family to care for you, a government support system to make sure you don't wind up having to bust ass 7 days a week to make ends meet, and most importantly don't find yourself on the receiving end of such endless and pedantic crap as you keep spewing. Ray has none of those things, so my sympathy and pity is with him, not with whiners like you and Arthur. Sorry, that's just the way it is, no matter how long and boring a reply you fire back at me.

Anonymous said...

Not sure how whether he made a fortune at it or not is relevant to the question or whether he ignored health and safety standards.

Obviously he could be serving diseased human flesh in there and you'd accept it since he's a struggling independent businessman. Calling people who point out facts and ask relevant questions "whiners" really makes you look silly. I hope Ray's other supporters are able to assess the situation with a little more objectivity. Maybe he got in this mess because they don't.

-another anon

Anonymous said...

Marty, Blackberry typos are not the point . Lisa, I'll keep it short and sweet this time . You've been hoodwinked.

Anonymous said...

Explain these Lisa. They don't cost very much money if any at all. The man is no saint.

4) Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.

2) Food Protection Certificate not held by supervisor of food operations.

4) Hand washing facility not provided in or near food preparation area and toilet room. Hot and cold running water at adequate pressure not provided at facility. Soap and an acceptable hand-drying device not provided.

Jeremy said...

The argument that our own kitchens wouldn't pass inspection is pretty terrible. People don't pay us to cook for them in our homes. We voluntarily cook food in our own kitchen to eat ourselves (and sometimes for our guests, and if your kitchen has mouse droppings and roaches, then I feel bad for your guests). If your kitchens are that dirty, then it really says something else about you. And for all of the naysayers, I live in a building built in 1936 with appliances that look like they're from the same time period. I don't have mice, or mice droppings, or rats, or rat droppings, or roaches. If I can keep my kitchen clean from these things, so can you, and so can Ray.

By serving us food that we PAY for, restaurants make an inherent promise to keep that food, and the area around the food, clean. This has absolutely zero to do with our own kitchens. Please give up this argument. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Well said Jeremy