I was recently considering a return visit to the corner of 9th Ave. & 51st to the popular midtown eatery & club known as VYNL in order to finish up my review for my website. Last time I was there, we fell in love with the cheeseburger spring rolls and pad thai. Thank goodness we took pictures, because it appears we won't be having those dishes again... at least not in midtown.
Looks like Dolly Parton is gonna get pretty lonesome staring at the toilet with only the mice to play with this weekend. The restaurant is known for its themed bathrooms.
After receiving a tip about the closing from a friend, I called the restaurant, and was surprised that someone answered. Curious to see how they'd reply, I asked what their hours were tonight. The response was comedic... "Well... uhhh... because we had a pretty bad gas leak, ConEd shut us down for the... uhhhmmm... the weekend. Hope...fully... they'll turn the gas back on by... uhhhh... next week, and we can reopen..." It sounded like the host was being held at gunpoint on the other end of the line, reading the scribbled script from a post-it note.
In actuality, according to the NYC Department of Health website, an inspection on October 20th scored the restaurant 53 points, rendering it closed. Their last score in September of 2009 was a 25, which would have earned it the grade of a B under the new system.
A top violation cited was the evidence of mice or live mice present in the facility's food and/or non-food areas.
I called the Chelsea location, which presently remains open.
Hopefully the Hell's Kitchen rodents didn't become as addicted to the menu as some of the customers, and won't be making a move downtown to the sister location any time soon.
We do hope that VYNL can rodent-proof itself and make the necessary adjustments to become a flourishing midtown restaurant again. This new grading system has been difficult on many businesses, but a score of 53 is dramatically beyond the acceptable range.
0 - 13 violation points is an A (next inspection to be a year later)
14 - 27 violation points is a B (next inspection in 5 to 7 months)
28 points or more is a C (recurring inspections every few weeks until improved or closed down)