We wrote about Halikarnas’ sudden closure last month by the Health Department, and then told you days later about how it reopened, broke the law, and reclosed. Well, we stopped by there last week and found out the complete story.
First of all, Halikarnas (3075 Emmons Avenue) is open for business again. Second, its closing – and subsequent re-closing – appears to be the result of classic labyrinthine bureaucracy and confusion that has cost a local business tens of thousands of dollars.
A little history: Halikarnas opened in 2005, but last year was sold to new owners in March. The old owners moved down the block and became Marmaris, and the new owners are the former owners of Liman restaurant. So, from this shaky beginning you can begin to see how it gets confusing.
When we referenced the restaurant’s rocky history with DOH inspections, it was the old owners. In fact, the January inspection that led to Halikarnas’ closing was the first inspection faced by the owners – not that the DOH knew the difference. And the visit came after a frost that caused the restaurant’s pipe to freeze. According to the management, Halikarnas had no clients in the restaurant and was not open for business. A contractor was working on the pipes, but the front door was open. That was enough for the DOH to claim the business was open despite not having running water – which is an automatic failure resulting in a shut down.
That settles the first closing. On the day the business reopened, January 13, they passed two inspections and were given permission to reopen. But later that day, after a complaint from a neighbor, an inspector was dispatched to shut the restaurant down again for opening without permission. The management says they provided the documents that they had passed inspection, but the official told them she didn’t care. (Halikarnas showed us the reports, proving they were visited three times in one day, passed the first two inspections and were certified to reopen).
On a side note, the owners of Halikarnas eagerly gave us an impromtu tour of the establishment, including kitchen, basement, and stockroom. The premises were very clean, insect traps empty, and no sign of droppings anywhere.