EAST VILLAGE — Popular mac and cheese joint S'MAC hopes to begin serving its signature dishes again this weekend after health inspectors shut down the flagship store Tuesday, sending fans into a cheese-deprived tizzy.
Evidence of mice, dirty wiping cloths and poor toilet maitenance were cited at the restaurant's East 12th Street location, which serves from both a dine-in and takeout storefront, earning the business a whopping 71 violation points.
One of S'MAC's owner said repairs are currently under way and that he hopes another inspection by the city Department of Health will occur before the weekend so the eatery can reopen.
"We were shocked," said co-owner Caesar Ekya, after the restaurant's previous inspection in September landed it an "A" grade.
"If it was one [violation] in an inspection, you are fine, but they all happened at once," Ekya said. "It was a lot of little things all at once."
He added that there were some refrigeration issues and minor construction that needed to be completed before the restaurant would request the re-inspection.
S'MAC's Facebook page promised to keep fans updated on when the store would start selling its cheesy favorites again.
While plenty of jokes made the rounds of social media — "Cheese. Mice. Makes sense," one commenter quipped on Facebook — others lamented the temporary closure.
"S'MAC is closed. God is dead." tweeted Jim Gallagher.
"I feel like my world just shuttered," Twitter user Erin Conley added.
"S'MAC was closed down by the health department?! So, like, really what's the point of living?" tweeted Rachel Snipes
S'MAC-lovers can nonetheless get their fix of creations "Parisienne" — including creamy brie, roasted figs, roasted shiitake mushrooms and fresh rosemary — at its other locations in Murray Hill and on East First Street and First Avenue.