Georgetown’s Dean & DeLuca grocery store has reopened after being forced to close Feb. 6, due to violations of D.C. food code regulations.
The store’s closing generated lots of media attention in a town and city, known for its rodent problems
The gourmet market’s customers discovered a closed business and locked doors Wednesday morning, which was explained by the “Food Establishment Closure Notice” from the Department of Health, taped to the window. As was stated on the sign, the violations presented “imminent health hazard(s) to the public.”
Among these health threats were “live birds, rat droppings and mice droppings found inside of the café” and “live roaches and mice droppings cited around the cheese section in the customer service and product display area,” according to the Food Establishment Inspection Report. There were eight critical violations and 11 noncritical violations in total.
The report also said that every risk factor “must be abated and approved” by the Department of Health and that a re-inspection fee would be required for the license to be reinstated. The store was cleaned. It passed re-inspection Feb. 7 and was allowed to reopen.
While the M Street operation reopened to the public Thursday afternoon, the patio-style espresso bar — which is outside the store — remains closed until further notice. It may re-open within the store sometime in the next few weeks, one employee said.
Dean & DeLuca’s corporate office issued this statement Feb. 7:
“Yesterday, our Georgetown store was temporarily closed, primarily due to issues in our open-air cafe that arose from major construction next door. We have been working closely with the health department today to immediately address all areas of concern and are pleased to report that the market has re-opened.
“The cafe outside remains closed for service, but only because there are birds that have flown into the open air space. While we are unable to serve food and beverages at the cafe, guests are still welcome to sit there and enjoy food bought inside the market. Additionally, we are in the process of temporarily moving the espresso bar inside, until the outdoor cafe issues are resolved. We hope to re-open with full service as soon as possible.
“As always, Dean & DeLuca is committed to offering our team and guests the cleanest and most hygienic environment, and we will continue to work tirelessly to achieve the highest standards.”
Founded 1977 in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City, Dean & DeLuca opened at 3276 M St., NW, in 1993 — the first of the franchise outside New York City. The Georgetown location has been the site of a market of one sort or another for about 200 years. Today, Dean & DeLuca, headquarted in Wichita, Kan., boasts stores and cafes from California to Singapore and Qatar.