Pop-up celeb hotspot temporarily shut down by Health Department
Gitano — a New York pop-up version of a hip Tulum, Mexico, beach bar — was temporarily shut down by the authorities.
The Health Department tells us it closed the jungle-themed spot — which has seen guests such as Chloë Sevigny, Zachary Quinto and Christian Siriano since opening in Soho three weeks ago — “for sanitary violations that could not be corrected during the inspection. The restaurant corrected the violations and was able to reopen.”
Food Web site Eater reports that authorities gave the 24,000-square-foot space 92 violation points on July 10, and 114 points on July 11 for infractions “ranging from insufficient refrigeration to improper sewage disposal.”
James Gardner, the founder and principal owner, tells us it closed for “three days at the request of the [Health Department] but quickly addressed all of the issues and [is] now back in action and fully operational.”
He adds that a “[New York State]-certified temporary water and waste solution [is] in place and [we] have now converted to the city mains connections and are 100 percent compliant with the DOH.”
The spot had a reopening Thursday with guests including Hamish Bowles, Jeremy Scott and model RJ King.
But would-be clients who were affected by the shutdown were not happy. One said on Yelp, “I had a 6:45 reservation. 6 pm I received a phone call that the restaurant was closed due to ‘construction’ and I could not come in.”
Gardner told us, “We would like to apologize to our many guests who had reservations that were canceled as a result.” He said that the restaurant takes the city’s rules and regulations “very seriously.” “We have worked closely with local government offices to make this miracle of a project a reality,” he said, adding, “My concept of the world’s first traveling restaurant is not a pop-up but is substantial, is built to last, to travel, and to meet the regulations of any municipality’s full restaurant food-service regulations.”
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