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Aprovecho, Popular UES Mexican Eatery, Shut Down by Health Department

By DNAinfo Staff on December 17, 2012 2:03pm

UPPER EAST SIDE — A neighborhood Mexican cafe has been shut down by city inspectors who found signs of mice and roaches, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reports.

Aprovecho New York, located on First Avenue between East 66th and East 67th streets, was closed on Dec. 12 after inspectors found "live roaches present in facility's food and/or non-food areas" and "evidence of mice or live mice present in facility's food and/or non-food areas," according to a DOHMH audit.

Under the most recent city regulations, restaurants with 28 or more violation points receive a "C" rating. The agency can shut down eateries that are thought to pose a public health risk.

Aprovecho notched 64 violation points for vermin and other problems during its last inspection.

The Mexican hot spot was also rapped for improper refrigeration, contaminated food, and poorly cleaned cooking surfaces.

Some non-food surfaces at Aprovecho also were deemed "improperly constructed," and made of "unacceptable" materials, making it difficult to thoroughly clean, inspectors found.

Aprovecho had not taken necessary precautions to prevent rodent infestation, according to DOHMH inspectors who determined the space was "not vermin proof."

Aprovecho has "harborage or conditions conducive to attracting vermin to the premises and/or allowing vermin to exist," the report claims.

A staffer at Aprovecho appeared to be present in the restaurant at 1229 First Ave. on Sunday, but did not answer the door when a reporter from DNAinfo.com New York knocked.

Nobody at the restaurant answered its phone on Monday morning.

According to city data, this is not the first time Aprovecho has been hit with health violations, and many of the current problems are similar to raps it has faced in the past.

In October 2012, the DOHMH reported "filth flies" and improper vermin-proofing, as well as refrigeration and food-contamination problems, prompting Aprovecho to rack up 30 violation points.

And on March 30, 2011, the city detected "evidence of mice and/or live mice" and slapped the restaurant with 40 violation points.

This prompted its temporary closure, according to the city and Yelp reviews.

The DOHMH first cited Aprovecho for mice in September 2010, according to the department's website.