News | Upper West Side

Absolute Bagels closed after inspection finds flies, roaches, mice

  • ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING | A health inspection Thursday revealed roaches, flies, and "evidence of mice or live mice" at popular bagel spot Absolute Bagels.

Updated in print and online, 1/21

Absolute Bagels was shut down by the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene last week after an inspection revealed live roaches, flies, and evidence of mice in the popular Upper West Side bagel joint.

The inspection Thursday totaled a massive 73 violation points at Absolute, on Broadway between 107th and 108th streets. A score of 28 or more points translates to a “C” grade.

Besides “evidence of mice or live mice,” roaches, and flies, the inspection report, released Sunday, also details improper cooking techniques, such as cold food being held at too high a temperature and contaminated food.

The store’s shutters were pulled halfway down over the weekend, with a sign reading “We will be back on Wednesday” displayed on the door. While lines of hungry customers often stretch out the door and onto the sidewalk on weekend mornings, on Saturday, only a few pedestrians stopped by to gaze at the storefront.

On Monday, an employee at the store who only gave the name John said workers were improving Absolute.

“We’re just renovating, cleaning, fixing things,” he said. “We’re cleaning up and renovating the holes and everything ... it’s getting old,” he said.

Management could not be reached for comment.

This isn’t the first time Absolute has run into trouble with the health department. An inspection on Aug. 21 also revealed vermin and improper refrigeration, but only totaled 38 points, leading to a “grade pending” rating.

Other Broadway restaurants have also been shuttered in recent days, including M2M Mart at 115th Street, which racked up 90 points for similar violations on Thursday.

Students were divided Monday about whether they planned to return to Absolute.

“Honestly, I’m kind of depressed right now because that place was the shit,” said Noah Stebbins, SEAS ’16, who said he usually eats there once a month.

“I think when they reopen, they should be inspected really closely,” he said. “I would only go there in the future if they get an A for sanitation.”

Nana Abrefah, CC ’16, called the inspection report “disconcerting.”

“It’s a good thing I only went there once,” he said, adding that he would only go back “after some time.”

Sam Nicoll, CC ’15, said he had a bagel there “once every week or two.”

“I never noticed ... I had no reason to think that [there were health violations],” he said.

Nicoll said he would probably go back, though.

“It’s still kinda THE bagel place,” he said.

news@columbiaspectator.com | @ColumbiaSpec

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Anonymous posted on

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

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anon posted on

I am so glad New York inspects these restaurants.

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Anonymous posted on

ewwwwwwwww

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Anonymous posted on

more like Absolutely Overrated and Overpriced Bagels

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Anonymous posted on

Overpriced? Yes. Overrated? NOT ON YOUR LIFE! Better than any bagel I've had in the 17 years I've lived in NYC. Absolute beats every other place I've gone to, including H&H and the old Columbia Bagels!

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Anonymous posted on

The bagels are actually quite reasonable. It's the toppings that drive the prices up. Go with friends and split a cream cheese. You'll save tons.

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Anonymous posted on

Update: http://a816-restaurantinspecti...

according to the most recent inspection they now only have 7 points and are permitted to reopen. Anyone who knows about health code knows:

a. how easy it is to rack up ridiculous points for things that have nothing to do with food safety.
b. if they had 73 points on the 17th and 7 points on the 22nd it is literally impossible that all 73 points were valid infractions that affect the safety of eating there. real problems take way more time & money to fix.

I'd love to see the spectator do a real investigative piece on the validity of the grading system when applied to small independent businesses.
let's support our local businesses or soon we're only going to be able to get snacks at duane reades or chase banks.

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Anonymous posted on

They need to get a CAT! Screw Bloomberg and his anti-feline policies!

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