Health Department shuts down Souen’s Soho location

A Health Dept inspection found food contamination and live roaches at this macrobiotic mecca, which may re-open as early as Wednesday. Will you eat there again?
Souen Soho, before the Health Department showed up

Souen’s Soho location on Prince and Sixth Avenue was closed suddenly last week after a Health Department inspection on September 6 awarded it 61 violation points. For some score-card perspective, if a restaurant goes over just 28 violation points, it scores a C.

That’s another huge blow for New York City’s Japanese macrobiotic Mecca, which has had a tumultuous year of renovations, closings, and water main breaks at its Union Square flagship.

Three of the nine violations committed at the Soho location were what the Department calls “critical.” These included “raw, cooked, or prepared food [that] is adulterated, contaminated, cross-contaminated…” and “Live roaches present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.” Bad karma or no, the Health Department wants to see those roach motels.

We called the Union Square location to find out where the Soho spot went wrong, especially since Souen’s other locations are currently rocking fantastic restaurant ratings: A (East Village) and B (Union Square). And also because of all of the greens-and-grains-eating yogis, Physique57 students, and Well+Good staffers this puts out.

A worker who identified herself as Azumi said the manager was “really busy, and actually, he left.” I’m not sure if one or both of those was the reason he didn’t get on the phone. Azumi couldn’t elaborate on the closing, other than to confirm that the health inspectors had, in fact, come and shut them down, and that it possibly had something to do with the basement.

She did say that Souen Soho expects to be serving up its brown rice bowls again as early as Wednesday or Thursday of this week.

We’re dying to know, will you eat at Souen Soho when it re-opens or will you be getting your macrobiotic fix elsewhere?

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