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UES Restaurant Caught Storing Meat on Gross Basement Floor

Get ready to lose your lunch! A popular Upper East Side restaurant has been caught storing what appears to be trays of raw pork sitting on boxes atop the filthy basement floor of the building it’s located in.

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Pho Shop is a popular Vietnamese restaurant located at 1716 First Avenue (at 89th Street). When a tenant of the same building (who requested anonymity) went down to the basement to throw out her garbage at about 5:45pm on Saturday, she noticed a faint smell of rotting meat. Confused, because the garbage cans were empty, she headed back to the elevator only to see the heaps of meat in an open room adjacent to the laundry machines.

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“I couldn’t believe my eyes,” the resident told us. “In order to prove I was not hallucinating, I snapped a series of photos and waited.” She called out but the room was empty.

(The restaurant leases out the ground floor, the cellar, and an additional room in the residential portion of the basement – where the meat was found.)

“I finally went to show the doorman the photos,” she continued. The two of them went downstairs to find out why the meat was being kept on the floor, completely uncovered in a heated room with no refrigerator in sight.

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“My doorman finally knocked on the restaurant’s door and pointed to the meat and said they could not keep it there,” the nauseated whistleblower detailed.

The resident said they seemed annoyed but muttered something about addressing it.

“I yelled they could not serve this meat. There are sometimes water bugs and mice downstairs by the garbage and the puddles of blood were unhygienic. Further, no one should be served meat which could be salmonella-ridden after being kept out in the heated cellar for so long while uncovered on the filthy floor!”

The tenant went back to the basement a bit later on Saturday and saw that the door had been closed.

We reached out to Pho Shop for comment and connected with Allen Cho, who says he is a manager of both the Upper East Side and Upper West Side (141 West 72nd Street) locations and would immediately contact the staff and owners about the issue. The Department of Health was also notified and we’re awaiting a response.

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According to public records and a sticker in the eatery’s window, Pho Shop currently has an “A” health rating.

This aside, it’s unclear whether inspectors would know to check out the “meat room” because as we mentioned above, it’s in the residential portion of the basement.

Public records via NYC Open Data indicate that the UES Pho Shop’s last violation was in September 2022. The description of the violation indicates that several foods were being held at temperatures that were too high. According to this same source of public information, the restaurant was issued ten violations during 2019; here’s an Excel file with that info.


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