Clean plates: Mice, dead and alive, bedevil Philly eateries

The following restaurants and eateries were asked or ordered to close temporarily by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health between Apr. 1 and Apr. 12 for "unacceptable" conditions or "imminent health hazards." A list of eateries facing court dates follows.

To look up reports on a specific restaurant, or read more in the Inquirer’s Clean Plates series, visit

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Bilal's Garden on 1500 block of Wadsworth Ave. 

Bilal's Garden
1525 WADSWORTH AVE 19150
11 violations, 3 serious.
Food certified person not present; handwash sink not accessible for employee use; empty paper towel dispenser; pies not labeled properly, repeat violation; insufficient thermometers, repeat violation; dirt and food residue along floor perimeters, repeat violation; burned-out lightbulb in walk-in refrigerator. Asked to close temporarily on Apr. 11. 

Top of the Hill Cafe
23 violations, 6 serious.
Unwrapped and unprotected baguettes by open back door; mouse droppings in kitchen and basement, in dry seasonings container and next to oven; unpeeled potatoes and onions stored in garage; panko crumbs stored on floor; ineffective hair restraints.  Previously ordered to close Aug. 22, 2014. Asked to close temporarily on Apr. 11. 

Ngo, Co Van/ Sonic Food Cart
3697 SPRUCE ST 19104
5 violations, 4 serious.
Food safety person not present; tomatoes, sausages and cheese held at hazardous temperatures; Windex stored with food products. Asked to close temporarily on Apr. 10.

Circles Restaurant
812 N 2ND ST 19123
8 violations, 1 serious.
Live mice running across kitchen floor near dish-washing area; mouse droppings in basement,  on six cans of food, in boxes of hot sauce and lemon juice, and in service area; unnecessary equipment stored outside facility; hole in floor. Previously ordered to cease operations on Apr. 4 and Mar. 31;  Ordered to close again for minimum of 48 hours on Apr. 10. 

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Original New York Bagel
7555 HAVERFORD AVE 19151
8 violations, 2 serious.
Gray mouse running up fixture from oven to exhaust hood; fresh mouse feces on shelves, on food container lids, along perimeter in walk-in refrigerator; clean and sanitize all equipment, repeat violation; chemicals stored with food; establishment does not have a mop sink, repeat. Previously ordered to close on Jan. 25 and Jan. 24, 2017; Apr. 15, 2015; and May 22, 2014. Ordered to close immediately for unspecified time on Apr. 6. 

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South Street Pizzeria at 1410 South Street.

South Street Pizzeria
1410 SOUTH ST 19146
25 violations, 8 serious.
Food safety person not present; improper handwashing, soap and warm water not used; accumulated residue on slicer; mouse feces and ants near dough mixer and deep freezer; dead mouse on glue trap near CO2 tanks; food debris in all refrigeration units; holes in walls in food prep area. Agreed to close voluntarily on Apr. 4. 

Judy's Kitchen #V-03119
3301 ARCH AVE 19104
13 violation, 8 serious.
No hot water; person in charge did not have adequate knowledge of Pa. Food code; improper handwashing due to lack of hot water; foods from unapproved source; bread rolls stored in plastic shopping bags; cell phone on cutting board. Asked to close temporarily on Apr. 4. 

 Chestnut Food Market
812 CHESTNUT ST 19107
Food safety person not present, repeat violation. Asked to close temporarily on Apr. 4. 

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Circles Thai restaurant in Northern Liberties.

Circles Restaurant
812 N 02ND ST 19123
16 violations, 4 serious.
Mouse droppings on canned goods in basement and on cups and food prep tables in main kitchen, repeat violation; dead mouse on floor behind refrigeration unit, repeat violation. Foods held at hazardous temperatures, repeat violation; no food prep sink in facility, repeat violation; water leaking from main next to meter, repeat violation.  Ordered to close for minimum of 48 hours on Apr. 4. 

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Kenny's Seafood & Steak was permitted to reopen Apr. 5.

Kenny's Seafood & Steak
4931 WAYNE AVE 19144
10 violations, 3 serious.
Food safety person not present, repeat violation; no soap in women's restroom; unapproved toaster oven, microwave and rice cooker, repeat violation; old cat feces in basement, repeat violation. Previously ordered to close on Mar. 1 for lack of food safety person. Ordered to close for a minimum of 48 hours on Apr. 3. Permitted to reopen Apr. 5. 

Scheduled for hearings in Court of Common Pleas on April 11: Fox and Hound Smoke House & Tavern1501 Spruce St.; The Flower Cafe48 Maplewood Mall; Kelliann's, 1549 Spring Garden St. ; Shotz Bar7417 Buist Ave. Nine Brothers Mini Market600 N 40th St. Kenny's Seafood & Steak4931 Wayne Ave. 

Copabanana, Third and South Streets, .

Scheduled for hearings in Court of Common Pleas on April 13: Mojo Pizza, 8107 Frankford Ave.; JD McGillicuddy's Pub, 111 Cotton St.; Copa Banana/Hurricane, 342 South St.; 2nd Story Brewing, 117 Chestnut St.

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Tir Na Nog at 1600 Arch St..

Scheduled for hearings in Court of Common Pleas on April 13 (continued)Tir Na Nog, 1600 Arch St.; Westin Hotel of Philadelphia, 99 S 17th St.; Original Venice Pizza & Grill, 3613 Rhawn St.; Dim Sum Garden Philly, 1020 Race St.; Samba Pizza, 6200 Elmwood Ave.; Cosi, 130 S 36th St.; Hamilton Restaurant, 4008 Market St.; Four Worlds Bakery, 4634 Woodland Ave.; Fino's Pizzeria, 6784 Gemantown Ave.; Quig's Pizza, 7501 Verree Rd.; Jana Food Market, 6826 Bustleton Ave. 

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The health department inspects nearly 1,000 eateries and food retailers every two weeks. Every inspection is generally regarded as a “snapshot in time,” and not necessarily a reflection of day-to-day conditions.  Most violations were fixed immediately on site.

If you suspect you have contracted food poisoning or have a sanitation complaint, contact the health department at 215-685-7495.

Contact reporter Sam Wood at, 215-854-2796, or @samwoodiii.