Last summer, Strand Smokehouse restaurateur Tommy Vasilis kicked out a DOH inspector when he appeared at the restaurant for a routine visit. After a protracted legal battle with the restaurateur, the DOH has decided to shut down The Strand Smokehouse for 20 days as punishment. A message on the restaurant's website now reads:
We have been temporarily shut down by the Department of Health. This is not for any health violations but because we rejected inspection by a health inspector. Thank you to our loyal customers and we will see you soon!
According to the DOH, Vasilis "used profanity in telling the inspector to leave and threw the inspector's equipment bag at him." The restaurateur denies tossing the bag, but he says that he "nicely asked him a few times" to leave the premises, then he informed the inspector that he would be thrown out. The DOH man called the cops, but no complaint was filed. As DNAinfo notes, the city's Health Code states that a restaurateur cannot interfere with an inspection.
Vasilis also owns a bakery up the block, and according to the DOH, the two restaurants share an ice machine. The inspector attempted to check on both facilities, but Vasilis took issue with the fact that he was essentially getting a double inspection. The restaurateur tells DNAinfo: "I just didn't want for them to start inspecting both stores every time they would inspect one. It's a tremendous amount of square footage." The restaurant closed on April 28, so it should reopen in about two weeks. The adjoining bakery and its sister location are also temporarily shuttered.
· The Strand Smokehouse Closed for 20 Days [DNAinfo]
· All Coverage of The Strand Smokehouse [~ENY~]