Atlas Cafe Shut Down by Health Department
EAST VILLAGE — A small Moroccan cafe with a vegan focus was shut down by the city after inspectors found evidence of mice and live roaches in its kitchen.
Atlas Cafe at 73 Second Ave., between East Fourth and East Fifth streets, was shut down Sept. 17 after it was hit with 50 violation points, according to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The restaurant also failed a subsequent inspection last Friday.
Samuel Balouly, the cafe's owner, said a broken pipe in the tiny cafe's basement had contributed to the violations, because it left puddles of dirty water in the space.
"You lose a lot of money and it costs you a lot of money," he said of closing his business and paying for repairs.
Balouly hopes to fix the pipe and reopen as soon as Friday.
"You have to fix what you have to fix," he said.
The cafe, popular with New York University students, has a history of either roaches or mice in almost every Health Department inspection since July 2011.