UPPER WEST SIDE — Popular Broadway bagel shop Absolute Bagels was shut down after a recent health inspection revealed evidence of mice, flies, and improper food storage.
During the restaurant's regularly scheduled inspection this past Thursday, the Department of Health found several critical violations, including not storing hot food at above 140 degrees, evidence of mice and flies, and food not protected from potential contamination.
The combined violations earned Absolute Bagels, located between West 108th and 107th streets, 45 points on its inspection score, where a lower number means better food-safety standards. Previously, the bagel shop had eight points in May and 21 points in March.
A sign was placed on the closed storefront shortly after its closure explaining that there was "extermination at work" and that the eatery would reopen on Tuesday.
In order to reopen, Absolute Bagels needs to correct all its violations and request a reopening inspection, according to the Health Department. The agency added that it hadn't received a inspection request from the shop as of Monday.
The owner of the restaurant could not be reached for comment, but a worker at the shop confirmed it would be reopening Tuesday.
Dennis Adler, an Upper West Sider for the past three decades, said he goes to Absolute Bagels every weekend, when lines can stretch to upwards of 25 people.
"They have very little space to work in, so I'm sympathetic that they can't meet every regulation that the Health Department has," Adler said about the shutdown. "They have a huge customer base and a very small operation."
When asked if he would return in spite of the violations, Adler said, "Absolutely."