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Patrons Walk Out as DOH Hits '21' Club Pre-Theater

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Why doesn't the Dept. of Health take into account the curtain time when planning their surprise visits? The nerve! From the tipline:

Was at '21' Club for dinner last night Friday 3/19. Early 5:30 pm pre theater. Decent crowd. Waiters take orders and begin service. Something was palpably wrong. The waiters and bussers were mumbling to each other unhappily, more than usual for older, grumpy union waiters. Apps take forever (45 minutes), and are chilly on arrival. A captain comes to our table, after visiting several others, and explains that the delay is due to a surprise health inspection???? On a Friday night during pre-theater rush???

We wait a little longer. An out-of-towner freaks out, yelling at the manager about missing their curtain, etc. Everybody starts leaving. The restaurant manager comes to our table, offering apologies with his business card, explaining that if we need to leave, there will be no charge, etc., but fails to mention if our food is being prepared or if it will ever arrive. We did end up leaving.

Front of the house staff were all very polite, but something was very wrong. I am in the business and won't hold it against them, but I wonder what happened? DOH is unlikely. I would guess labor dispute, but if the cooks walked out, I would think the waiters would have too.
Reps for the restaurant confirm the DOH was the culprit and that they took over the kitchen for two and a half hours on Friday evening. The good news is, the historic restaurant "passed with flying colors."
· All DOH Chronicles [~ENY~]

21 Club

21 West 52nd Street, Manhattan, NY 10019 (212) 582-7200 Visit Website

'21' Club

21 West 52nd St., New York, NY

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