Sunday, February 14, 2016

City closes firefighters' bar

The Health Department finds sanitary problems and roaches, while the union president finds the city's timing 'peculiar'.

City closes firefighters' bar


Four years without a raise, and Mayor Nutter keeps appealing arbitration orders to bump their salaries, you’d have to forgive a Philadelphia firefighter for wandering into a bar now and then.

But not the firefighters’ own bar, at Local 22’s headquarters on N. 5th St.

The union’s bar and kitchen have been closed since August 8, when a city health inspector cited the place for several health code violations, including a roach infestation.

No big deal, according to union president Bill Gault. “He seen a couple of roaches, and our slicer wasn’t clean.…We’ve got it fixed up now, but we can’t reopen ‘til they give us a reinspection. We want to adhere to all the rules.”

Gault said he did find the city’s timing “peculiar”.

“Two days after we have a march on City Hall, a health inspector comes by and they shut us down,” Gault said Thursday.  “I can’t prove it was harassment. It’s just very weird, I think the timing was bad.…It’s not easy to fight City Hall.”

A spokesman for the city Health Department, Jeff Moran, said the inspector’s August 8 visit was a routine followup to a failing annual inspection last April, when the facility was cited for various unclean food-handling surfaces.

“There were issues in April 2011 and this past April,” said the mayor’s spokesman, Mark McDonald. "A followup was routinely done within an appropriate time frame thereafter. It really is just that simple.”

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The Philadelphia Inquirer's Chris Hepp, Tricia Nadolny, Julia Terruso, and Claudia Vargas take you inside Philadelphia's City Hall.

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