After racking up one of the city’s worst health-inspection scores so far this rat-crazed year, the original Papaya King outpost at the corner of Third Avenue and 86th Street is once again grilling its trademarked “Tastier Than Filet Mignon” franks.
Waiting in line to order at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, this reporter passed the time by reading juice joint C.E.O. Dan Horan’s letter posted at the register, which described the eatery’s efforts to rebound from a “tough couple of days.”
The Health Department shuttered “New York’s First Juice Bar” two weeks ago, after the TV program Inside Edition aired footage of rodents at the Upper East Side sausage factory–a situation Mr. Horan downplayed as “an isolated incident.”
Citing the 75-year-old venue for “conditions conducive to vermin,” among a host of other health-code violations, inspectors on March 20 slapped management with a horrendously high score of 111–just 84 points shy of the passing mark.
That’s 19 points worse than the infamously rat-infested KFC-Taco Bell in Greenwich Village, which remains shuttered, but still 49 points behind Manhattan’s most recent high scorer, Cafe Fonduta, which, like Papaya King, has since reopened.
According to Mr. Horan, it took “five days of scrubbing, cleaning and polishing this notably old, but historically significant space,” in order to pass re-inspection.
– Chris Shott