Thursday, June 27, 2019

Oh no! Health inspectors shutter Boystown's last 24-hour restaurant as Pride Parade weekend arrives

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With the Chicago Pride Parade just 3 days away, city inspectors have closed the Boystown IHOP location, accusing the restaurant of failing to correct issues that were discovered during a series of inspections, according to reports from the Department of Public Health.

The city suspension notice. | Provided
City workers slapped a fluorescent green sticker on the restaurant entrance at 3760 North Halsted to announce the license suspension after the diner failed its third inspection since May 31st, records show. The inspections of the only remaining 24-hour restaurant in the Boystown area were prompted by a citizen complaint about the operations.

Store managers posted a sign of their own at the entrance, claiming they closed “temporarily” for “much-needed maintenance.”

According to city records, an inspector who went to the restaurant on May 31 following a complaint found a list of problems that needed attention. Among the issues cited were the absence of any manager, failure to have a licensed food manager on duty, and failure to have proof of food safety training for employees. Several plumbing and physical maintenance issues were also cited.


But some less appetizing issues were reportedly uncovered, too. Among other things, the inspector said coffee packets were stored under a wastewater drain, unused cooking equipment was stored outdoors in the garbage area, the salad cooler shelves were rusty, and debris was built-up inside a dishwasher that was dirty inside and out.

An inspector returned for a follow-up on June 7th and reported finding nearly all of the problems remained.

The city closed the restaurant on Tuesday after an inspector again found on-going problems, according to city data.

The pancake house opened in its current incarnation during the late 1990s when new owners established the franchise in a building that had been boarded up for several years.

Boystown once boasted a range of 24-hour dining options for late night weekend partiers, including Melrose Diner, Nookies Tree, and Clarke’s, all of which have closed or ended overnight service in recent years.

With the suspension of service at IHOP, the nearest all-night dining options for Pride-goers are Diner Grill at 1635 West Irving Park and Golden Apple at 2971 North Lincoln. Several other restaurants in the area are open late, but not 24-hours, including Taco Burrito Palace at 3507 North Halsted, Windy City Gyros at 3932 North Broadway, Cheesie’s at 958 West Belmont, Philly’s Best at 907 West Belmont, and Al’s Beef at 3420 North Clark.
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