Cafe Closed by Health Department for Second Time This Year

Cafe 86 was closed by the Health Department last Wednesday and remained closed over the weekend, marking the second time in the past six months that the restaurant on Broadway and 86th Street was shuttered because of violations.

Cafe 86 sells a wide range of food, from all-day breakfast to dinner options like Lobster Bisque and hamburgers.

In the latest inspection, Cafe 86 had problems with mice and roaches, as well as refrigeration. Those issues were also problems at the July inspection where inspectors also ordered the cafe closed.

The latest list of violations is below:

Violation points: 52
Sanitary Violations
1) Hot food item that has been cooked and refrigerated is being held for service without first being reheated to 1 65º F or above within 2 hours.
2) Food Protection Certificate not held by supervisor of food operations.
3) Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.
4) Live roaches present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.
5) Facility not vermin proof. Harborage or conditions conducive to attracting vermin to the premises and/or allowing vermin to exist.
6) Plumbing not properly installed or maintained; anti-siphonage or backflow prevention device not provided where required; equipment or floor not properly drained; sewage disposal system in disrepair or not functioning properly.
FOOD, NEWS | 45 comments | permalink
    1. Via says:

      Ah, Williams BBQ. Sad.

      • David Burke says:

        Spot on, spot on

      • Liifeoong UWS says:

        Wooow. Wow. Wow. We used to get takeout from there when I was a kid. I haven’t thought of that place in years. Wow. That place was yuuuum. And yes, I realize I sound 10. Which was how old I was the last time I went there.

    2. Amelia Weiss says:

      Sad. For decades this was the home of Williams takeout rotisserie chicken. Does anyone else remember them? I fear the premises were not particularly healthy then either. But the chicken and barley were deelish.

      • JH says:

        I still miss Williams fried chicken, never found a substitute

        • Joanne says:

          Have you tried Texas Rotisserie & Grill on 2581 Broadway @ 97th Street? Their chicken platter is delicious!

          • MQue says:

            There is no way that is normal chicken at Texas BBQ, the breast is the size of a turkey breast, lol

            I’ve lived here all my life and never ordered from cafe 86. People always say it’s not worth it. I miss the smell of Williams chicken

        • Watto says:

          I totally agree … their fried chicken was superb.

      • Carmen says:

        Williams was a mainstay in the neighborhood for generations and is sorely missed, along with scent when you’re anywhere near that corner. I have found Cafe 86 to be skeavy since it opened. We need a place that does great takeout rotisserie chicken.

      • RWC10025 says:

        Yes, anyone living in the neighborhood before 2005 remembers Williams Chicken.
        The smell was intoxicating when walking on the east side of Broadway and 86 street.

        I loved the old NY vibe how we paid, paying the women in the little booth and then getting a receipt to get your bag of food.

      • MRD says:

        I remember Williams so fondly!!! And before Williams moved into that space, they were on the West side of Broadway, also between 85th/86th. There was also a small Daitch Shopwell where my mother sent e to buy Farmer Cheese–moist, as I was always instructed to say. And Marlo Drugstore on 85th! Do you remember that?

      • Susan M says:

        You are so right! Williams was wonderful. I lived on their barley. Cafe 86 is inferior in every way.

      • The Kaiser says:

        Yes, I miss it too.

    3. Yes, we remember Williams Chicken. Great people running it, very nice to our kids. They always gave them free drumsticks. Miss those guys. Was the place spotless clean? No way!

    4. Louis says:

      Not only was the Williams chicken great – the ribs were outstanding also. What a loss!

    5. Joseph Friedman says:

      I mourn the loss of Williams to this day. The golden standard of rotisserie chicken.

    6. It's Me says:

      Williams is sorely missed. This cafe was fantastic but it’s changed hands a few times and now no bueno.

    7. David Rapkin says:

      Thank you DOH

    8. Watto says:

      Man … I remember the days of Williams Barbecue and their fabulous chickens and sides. They were clean – never cited by the Health Dept. Wonderful delicious food. I really miss them!!

    9. Steve says:

      Other then mice, roaches and refrigeration issues, what’s the problem? So it happened in July too? Oh, no big deal. After all it’s only a restaurant.

      I hope they never reopen. Disgusting and there just isn’t any excuse.

      • UWS ZWM says:


        Is there a limit to how many times you can lose your grade/be closed for violations? 2x In 6 months for the same issues!!!

        My biggest fear is that you can just keep violating and then cleaning back up. Revolting.

        Also, did this place change its name on Seamless? I vaguely remember it being called Cafe on Broadway and alternating between that and Cafe 86. Whenever I see a restaurant do that, makes me think there are serious health issues.

        I am a really understanding and sympathetic person but I have my limits.

    10. Benoit says:

      Good riddance; let’s hope they’ll get shut down for ever. I went there once… 5,6 years ago. I ordered a panini tuna melt and was sick like a dog for 48 hours. A horrible case of food poisoning. Lesson learned: I never went back. They should know when an item is not fit to be consumed; and if they don’t, they should get out of the catering business.

    11. nakamula hektu says:

      That will teach them a thing or two about the exorbitant prices they charge. I hope this hits them in the wallet good enough.
      A resident

    12. George CPW says:

      I am shocked . . . shocked to hear that there are mice and roaches in a New York restaurant. Round up the usual suspects.

    13. Vanessa Charles says:

      When I took my kid to Williams BBQ, they would give her a “chicken lollipop“ — a drumstick.

    14. Ellen says:

      Charles Pan Fried Chicken in Harlem. 2461 Frederick Douglas Blvd. It’s a hole in the wall, but the fried chicken is out of this world as well as the side dishes. Check it out. You will be disappointed.

    15. UWS_lifer says:

      I just have to say that it is comment sections like this that keep me coming back to West Side Rag.

      I guess I’m just a sucker for nostalgia…and good rotisserie chicken. I remember it like yesterday. I can still smell it.:)

    16. KittyH says:

      Recalling Williams takeout also brings to mind eating at the nearby but now gone Popover Cafe whose Sunshine Cab Company sandwich will continue to live on in our memories.

      • Pam says:

        OMG! We loved their Mad Russian sandwich! and their popovers and Russian soup. Would love to find the recipes for them.

    17. Scott says:

      I also recall Williams having some sort of barley and mushroom side that was delicious.

    18. Cyrus says:

      Does anyone recall if this is the same location as Williams BBQ?

    19. Sean says:

      It’s the end of an era. Bring back the Bagel Nosh.

    20. Marcia says:

      Cade 86 is no Williams BBQ

    21. MF says:

      Ahhh, Williams BB@ yes, great chicken and sides. Loved that place. But it was in the days before all the Health Dept. inspections I think.

    22. wombatNYC says:

      I miss the chicken from Williams .
      Is there anything interesting to eat between 79th and 96th on Broadway ? Even the offerings on Amsterdam and Colombus ain’t worth travelin’ for ..

    23. rteplow says:

      The chicken was great, but I also loved the stuffed cabbage.

      Another food I miss: the prune danish at Lichtman’s (spelling?) bakery on Amsterdam & 86th.

    24. jimbo says:

      Anyone remember Merit Farm???

    25. Lorene Farnsworth says:

      Cafe 86 has been eighty-sixed!

    26. David says:

      I join with so many others in hardening back to those halcyon days when Williams BBQ dominated the block with the hearty aroma of freshly roasted chicken and the potato pancakes wafting out into the street. I was so sorry when they went out, and miss them to this day! Had many a great dinner from that place!

    27. SMN says:

      Not my most proud moment, and I know I’m setting myself up but hey, it’s my own little piece of nostalgia with Williams BBQ… I was fairly new to the city, and living in the W 80’s… One day, walking past Williams with a friend, I said, “Mmmm, I love the smell of their Rosa-a-Reeti chicken”. He said, “do you mean rotisserie chicken?”. Yep, that’s what I meant. Anyway, a dumb story (in more ways than one) but the point here is that I’m really thankful to have the memories of Williams, not only for the yummy smell of their chicken, but also for the moment of learning how to correctly pronounce rotisserie!!

    28. Cato says:

      Cafe 86 seems to have reopened as of last evening (Tuesday). They have a “Grade Pending” sign in the window, which means they had a new inspection, which resulted in fewer points than require closing but too many to get an A. So the new inspection report will now go to an administrative hearing — but they’re not closed.