Seven Georgetown-area restaurants cited as medium-risk health code violators in 2009

Yesterday, we cataloged the health violations of four Georgetown-area food establishments that had been pegged as “high-risk” by the Health and Regulations Licensing Administration within the last year or so—Leo’s, Epicurean & Co., The Tombs, and Bangkok Bistro.

Today, we’re running an accounting of the nine remaining restaurants whose two most recent food establishment inspection reports we acquired through a February Freedom of Information Act request. 

We found that Wisey’s, the Starbucks and the Cosi in the Leavey Center, Booey’s, Tuscany Cafe, the former Philly Pizza, and Midnight Mug were listed on at least one report as “medium-risk” establishments, mostly due to non-critical violations. Only two establishments, Vital Vittles and Hoya Snaxa, were never listed as risky establishments.

In total, they garnered 9 critical and 16 non-critical violations. Again, six critical violations that cannot be corrected on site result in the closure of the restaurant. Owners are usually given five days to rectify critical violations and 45  for non-critical violations or they risk closure.


An August inspection of the Cosi in the Leavey Center found three critical violations. The establishment was cited for needing to clean food contact surfaces and its “warewashing, sanitizing, frequency methods.”

“Resurface, clean, and sanitize cutting boards” for sandwich preparation areas and other cutting boards, the report said. “Adjust hot water on hand sinks in rear and prep area so [temperatures] reach 110 degrees; repair hot water gauge on dish machine.”

An inspection five days later confirmed that Cosi had corrected all of the violations, and a notice it had been given after the previous report was abated.


An August inspection found that Tuscany Cafe had one critical and two non-critical violation. Several food storage units were missing thermometers, many food items were not labeled and dated, and employees were cited for personal cleanliness, although the only written note about employees was that they were seen not wearing either hats or hair restraints when handling food. The establishment was given five and 45 days’ notice to make corrections.

A subsequent inspection 20 days later found no violations and abated the five and 45 days’ notices, but still listed Tuscany as a medium-risk establishment, which is not uncommon for an inspection following up on a notice to correct violations.

The Corp, Wisey’s, and how gross Philly Pizza was, after the jump!


Maybe it’s a good thing that Philly Pizza was shut down by the City. Although it was only ever given medium-risk status for its violations, a July 21 inspection found two critical violations and four non-critical violations. Another inspection one week later found that the same two critical violations had persisted.

On July 21, Philly Pizza owners were cited for poor pest control methods. Specifically, they could not produce a contract with a pest control service. Many of its food items were not properly dated, several refrigeration units were missing internal thermometers that would indicate if food risked spoilage, To Go pizza boxes were not being stored properly, and the owners could not produce a contract with a grease removal service, either.

On July 28, with a five and 45 day notice pending, an inspection found that the owners of Philly Pizza still could not produce a contract for either pest control or grease removal services. That afternoon, an inspector gave management until 6 p.m. that day to fax the licenses to the Health and Regulations Licensing Administration. The same inspection found that a refrigeration unit was storing sandwich components at 72 degrees, nearly 30 degrees above the maximum temperature.

Our FOIA request did not turn up a more recent inspection report, so we can only guess that Philly Pizza successfully remedied their violations, since it remained open.


The three establishments we looked into that are run by The Corp netted one critical violation, which was corrected on-site, and three non-critical violations.

  • An April inspection of Midnight Mug resulted in one critical violation—employees were not wearing hair restraints. The violation was corrected on site and the inspector had no objections to renewal of their license. A September inspection cited Midnight Mug for having unclean equipment and food contact surfaces, a non-critical violation.
  • An April inspection of Vital Vittles found no violations. A September inspection, however, cited Vittles for not having thermometers in all of their cold storage appliances to prevent spoilage and for needing to clean their freezers more thoroughly, both non-critical violations.
  • Both the April and September inspections of Hoya Snaxa found no violations.


A March, 2009 inspection found that employees at Wisey’s were not wearing hair nets or hair ties, had not properly sealed a basement door against rodents, did not have the proper number of sinks available (it was storing dishes in one sink), and did not have a test kit for sanitizing solution. All violations were corrected on site.


Our FOIA request turned up only one inspection report for Booey’s—an inspection filed in March 2009 that found no violations but abated a notice given in January.

“Gasket of freezer replaced; thermometers provided at all refrigeration units; … notice abated,” the inspection reads.


An October inspection of the Starbucks in the Leavey Center found three non-critical violations.

“Provide thermometer at reach-in refrigerator box,” the report instructs. “Clean counter surface, get rid of debris and dipped milk; Clean floor.”

An August inspection found no violations.

One Comment on “Seven Georgetown-area restaurants cited as medium-risk health code violators in 2009

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