Young and Hungry

Breadline Has Passed Its Reinspection, Could Reopen By Tomorrow

Less than a week after it was cited for 19 violations of D.C. Department of Health codes — ten of them critical violations — Breadline has passed its re-inspection, says Dena Iverson, director of communications for the department. Before it can officially reopen for business, though, the sandwich shop still has to secure a new restaurant license from the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.

Morell Marean, representative for the private-investor owners who bought Breadline from founder Mark Furstenberg in 2005, hopes to have the license in hand by tomorrow, which would allow Breadline to reopen for business on the same day.

"The Breadline has passed its health department inspection, and we're looking forward to opening soon," Marean says.

Marean wouldn't comment on the amount of money invested — or the time spent — to get Breadline back up to code. But Furstenberg, who was at his former restaurant when the inspector was there today, told Y&H this afternoon that the shop looks born anew.

"It was beautiful. Seriously," Furstenberg says about the repair work. "They replaced ceiling tiles, cleaned the oven, cleaned all the machinery...Everything was spotless."

"They must have spent a fortune," he adds.

The public will now be the final arbiter on Breadline's future. Given the large number of violations — including that customer-killer known as vermin in the kitchen — Breadline will likely need to conduct more than a clean-up campaign to get patrons back in the door. The group will likely need to go on a PR offensive.

But for now, Marean prefers a cautious approach. As for a public statement, the representative wants to be brief and on point.

"Food safety and sanitation are of paramount importance to our company," Marean says, "and we have worked diligently to remediate all of the items cited by the health department."

  • Bert Covey

    The ONLY story about this is how much the media picked up on this non-issue up and ran with it. I mean ... even if they were closed for a week ... so what? Places get shut down ALL THE TIME for health-code violations.


  • Tim Carman


    Name me that last three, well-respected D.C. institutions that were shut down by the Health Department, places that weren't some small mom-and-pop shop or some franchise poorly run by teen-agers.


  • Arlene

    I'm with the DR on this one. Did I read in those inspection papers that they were storing chickpeas at the incorrect temperature? Well knock me over with a feather. I'm so glad our tax dollars are being put to use on such stellar projects as ensuring proper hummus temperature and making sure my food does not come within six inches of the floor. What if it had only been five inches above? We all would've died.

  • dan riley

    Arlene is a fool. If you object to your tax dollars being used to prevent establishments from serving contaminated food to people you deserve to be infected. As a food professional and a consumer, I rely on health codes and their enforcement(even the 6-inch rule which everyone in the business is aware of) to keep the playing field level and to protect the safety of all of us. Anyone who has ever had food poisoning would agree.
    I do feel that the attention given to them was a bit out of proportion, but food safety is extremely important.

  • Arlene

    Having just got back from Germany, I enjoyed watching a little mouse roam along the floors of a bierhall, with little to no response from both the establishment and the patrons. I can assure you that many many people in this world survive, thrive even, without the interference of a "health department."

    And as someone who HAS had food poisoning, at places that have never been closed for health violations, no less, I'm inclined to believe that the health code does little more than provide me piece of mind, much like airport security. You seem to operate under the assumption that most restaurants intend to poison us with their putrid wares and that it's solely the health code that protects all of us from their evil designs. Foolish indeed.

    Funny....if it's meant to protect our health, why hasn't the health department cited the FDA for allowing such terrible meat and produce into our food stream?

  • dan riley

    Greedy (American)restaurant owners and middle managers would can be primarily concerned with making a profit. They would just as soon sell you an unsafe lukewarm bleu cheese dressing as sell you a safe one. Those kinds of operators require oversight. Knowing that these kinds of jokers will eventually get cited provides, yes, peace of mind.

    If you're okay with a Dupont Circle establishment brushing away rat turds from your sandwich bread, knock yourself out, fool.

    DOH monitors and educates food professionals on proper food safety and handling. Why is this a bad thing?

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