EAST VILLAGE — Macaroni-and-cheese spot S’MAC was shut down this week after health inspectors found evidence of mice and other problems — and it won't reopen until next week, according to city records and the restaurant's owner.
In addition to the mice, Department of Health inspectors cited the 345 E. 12th St. eatery for keeping cold food at unsafe temperatures and for not protecting food from contamination, according to the DOH website. The city hit S'MAC with 64 violation points after the Monday inspection and ordered the restaurant closed.
Owner Sarita Ekya said S'MAC was shut down only because its walk-in refrigerator, which is its main food storage space, broke down just before the inspector stopped by.
“This is dumb luck and bad timing,” Ekya said.
The inspector also found a small opening in the wall of the employee locker room and noted that it could allow vermin to enter, Ekya said.
"Other than that, we don’t have any kind of rodent or vermin issue in the space,” Ekya said.
S’MAC was previously closed by the Health Department after racking up 71 violation points in May 2013 for evidence of mice, dirty wiping clothes and poor toilet maintenance, records show.
Repair work is now under way, and Ekya hopes to reopen sometime next week after another inspection by the Health Department.
S’MAC is known for its specialty macaroni-and-cheese creations, which use a variety of cheeses plus ingredients including kalamata olives and andouille sausage.
The East Village location opened in 2006.