Famed Kosher Restaurant and Other Spots Closed by Health Department

Photo via Manhattan Kosher Map.

The city Department of Health forced Kosher restaurant Fine & Schapiro at 138 West 72nd Street to close on Wednesday. The restaurant was cited for various issues, including evidence of mice, according to the Health Department website. Fine & Schapiro opened in 1927 and is one of the city’s oldest Kosher delis.

Fine & Shapiro racked up 52 violation points.

Sanitary Violations
1) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F.
2) Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.
3) Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.
4) Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.
5) Facility not vermin proof. Harborage or conditions conducive to attracting vermin to the premises and/or allowing vermin to exist.
6) Pesticide use not in accordance with label or applicable laws. Prohibited chemical used/stored. Open bait station used.

It wasn’t the only restaurant facing this fate.

Polpette at 483 Amsterdam (83rd-84th) remained closed after being closed a week ago.

And Tum & Yum, a Thai Restaurant at 917 Columbus (105th), was also shuttered for several reasons, as detailed below.

Sanitary Violations
1) Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation.
2) Live roaches present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.
3) Hand washing facility not provided in or near food preparation area and toilet room. Hot and cold running water at adequate pressure to enable cleanliness of employees not provided at facility. Soap and an acceptable hand-drying device not provided.
4) Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.
5) Facility not vermin proof. Harborage or conditions conducive to attracting vermin to the premises and/or allowing vermin to exist.
6) Thawing procedures improper.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 47 comments | permalink
    1. ron shapley says:

      with the oldest mice, apparently…

    2. Whyse Guy says:

      Re: “forced Kosher restaurant Fine & Shapiro …to close on Wednesday….for various issues, including evidence of mice,….”

      Maybe they should re-name it “Not-So-Fine….”

      B/T/W: were they Jewish mice??

    3. geoff says:

      I’m surprised to read of Fine & Shapiro. I thought strict observance of Jewish law, keeping kosher, would infer strict observance of local law, too.

      • Ethan says:


      • conscience of a conservative says:

        Nope. Kosher has to do with how you slaughter an animal and separating meat from dairy. It has nothing to do with pesticides, food temperature or washing down the equipment.

        • geoff says:

          i guess you missed my point: adherents of strict kosher law, might be considered to be the type of people who would also adhere to health code law, maybe following a moral code.

    4. Frank says:

      I hope Fine and Shapiro gets it together. I love that place for a local pastrami on rye! Disappointing they aren’t keeping up to code to ensure their customers have a sanitary environment. The food isn’t cheap so I expect more from them.

    5. Steven says:

      Thank you D.O.H. for being NY’s health safety watchdog!

      It’s a disgrace that this occurred! Shame on them.

      Unless there is a clearly visible “A” Health Grade Rating signage that’s clearly posted in a restaurant storefront window, customers should not patronize them! This sends a strong message to all food establishment owners. Either properly clean up your unsatisfactory mess, otherwise your business will deservingly suffer…including a big decline from your loyal customers. Again, Thank You to the NYC Department Of Health for putting up these vital red flags. They are the only safeguard that protects us from poorly managed and dangerously unsanitary eateries.

    6. Sean says:

      Filth is filth.

    7. Dana Desjardins says:


    8. merrill lichtenfeld says:

      does this mean a permanent closing or can they reopen ?

    9. Rodger Lodger says:

      I’ll have a pastrami sandwich and a side of mouse.

      • ScooterStan says:

        Hysterical !!! 😂😃

        And it just “squeaked” past the gate-keepers! 😳

    10. Wendy says:

      oi vey ! Hope that the kosher eatery shall become “fine” , son. Bon appetit. Save our family farms, century farms, family ranches . Save our Food Stamps, for citizens.

    11. Rob says:

      Not a surprise. The place has always been less than clean.

    12. Linda says:

      Fine and Shapiro is not fancy, but always looks clean to us..and their food is delicious! We enjoy eating there each time we come in from NJ, (where unfortunately, there are hardly any good Kosher delis anymore!) The soups are great and the deli meats are delicious! The service is excellent too. You don’t have to only eat Kosher food to enjoy what they have… It’s Jewish ethnic soul food! We cannot wait for it to re-open!

    13. Candice says:

      Wow… I’ve ordered delivery from Tum & Yum more than once. I am horrified!

    14. Steve says:

      Really……when are these restaurants & food establishments going to take Food Safety seriously? Waiting for someone to post how they love one or all 3 of these disgusting establishments and can’t wait until they reopen.

      Wake up folks……..

    15. Hopingnottogetfoodpoisoningever says:

      (So grateful for these letter grades.)

    16. Sherman says:

      Oy. I love F&S. It’s one of the few kosher delis left in the city.

    17. Deborah says:

      Given their ever escalating prices (think my last turkey sandwich was $18), perhaps they could have invested in an exterminator.

    18. Yorgi L. says:

      I’m gonna miss the vermin kreplach

    19. MelissaUWS says:

      Wow. I have taken out food from F&S for years. This makes me sick to my stomach. If you get it this wrong I don’t think you should be able to reopen. I will definitely not be eating there ever again.

    20. well……….. good I guess…
      food in resturants is always suspect!
      I know.

    21. Virginia says:

      I haven’t eaten there in years but it always looked a bit seedy inside. Maybe if they raise the price of a frank with kraut to over the current $5 they can afford to clean up.

    22. NiceMice says:

      I heard people can buy their letter grades. True?

    23. Paul says:

      Regarding the concern of some of the comments about not eating there again, I’ve found that probably the best time to patronize a restaurant is right after they’ve passed inspection. They truly have to have their act together. So many others simply fly under the radar and are not caught. Ask any cook or restaurant worker.

      As to the quality of F&S, I disagree with most of the rave reviews. They haven’t been good in years…if ever. Yet they are one of the few remaining Jewish deli stalwarts and I do hope they reopen.

    24. iris agar says:

      Several years back, Fine & Shapiro was sold to a group of Russian Jews (not religious),
      the did not uphold the standards that the previous owners upheld. I used to have meals there as a child, and the food was excellent.
      It just wasn’t the same place, low standards & an unwholesome environment. The Russian owner told me that business was not good, and he was considering closing shop. I guess the Health Dept. helped him along.

      • conscience of a conservative says:

        Less Jews on the upper west side and what’s left don’t eat deli as much. Pastrami is now considered artery clogging and unhealthy. There used to be a Jewish deli on every third street corner in Jewish neighborhoods. Most are gone.

        I was a customer at Fine & Schapiro but was mostly just getting lean roast beef or a plain burger these days.

        • Lin says:

          Yes it’s quite true about the health issues of the delicious Jewish delis. I did enjoy their noodle soup. It was very soothing at times when I needed it—-like this past week when I coukdn’t reach them. I hope they can reopen.

    25. Jill Sears says:

      Will the reopen ?

    26. NYYgirl says:

      Mostly agree with Paul. And, re the letter grades, once one reads what a place can actually get away with while still rating an “A”, one may well think twice before even eating at the “A” places…sigh. The up side is that my paranoia has helped me to not only save $$$ but maybe also become a better home cook 🙂 Btw, my dad ate at F&S often, decades ago, and took us there as kids, and it was definitely better food then! Nevertheless, I hope they can get it together and reopen because they are indeed one of the last ‘throwback’ places left.

    27. Conscience of a Conservative says:

      So much for Kosher answering to a higher authority. I’m not totally shocked. Management took a very casual attitude toward mistakes on orders. It’s like they didn’t care.

    28. Jen says:

      34 comments as of today re Fine&Shapiro closing. 8 comments regarding shooting by the high school at W. 64th. Very few comments about Philip Roth passing.

      Shows what the neighborhood really cares about.

      • commenter says:

        Neighborhood or more likely human beings in general.

      • Independent says:

        Have you considered that the shooting, at least, is a topic of a nature considerably more likely to draw comments that will not meet the moderators’ guidelines than is the topic of restaurant closings?

        As for Roth, let’s not get carried away. However generous one may be in assessing his worth and legacy as a writer, a Mark Twain of his generation he was most certainly not. I might add that I happen to know of more than one person for whom the characterization ‘prude’ would be laughable yet who nonetheless found the luridness of Roth’s most acclaimed works a bit much.

      • UWSHebrew says:

        What can we do about the shooting? It’s happened in a great area by a school that attracted some out-of-the-area attention from a criminal. How does the passing of Roth affect my life, or anyone elses? Who cares? Did Roth change the world, change the country? Food however, is what literally sustains us, and when the best kosher pastrami on the UWS is no longer available, for some of us, that warrants attention!

    29. conscience of a conservative says:

      does not look like they plan on re-opening. the phone number is disconnected

    30. jack S says:

      I eat their food on an average of 3 to 4 times a week. I’ve never had a problem with them. I hope they clean up their act. Jack

    31. Norm Golden says:

      I dunno…I think I smell a rat in this story….