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Judge Orders Back Street Grill to Close

Restaurant operating without health permit or inspections

Today, the City of Albuquerque Environmental Health Department announced that its request for an order to close Back Street Grill because of their public health violations has been granted. The ruling from the court orders the restaurant to immediately cease and desist operations due to a lack of permit.

The existing health permit was initially suspended in the spring and later fully revoked due to the management’s failure to cooperate with Environmental Health Department regulations. The City’s Environmental Heath Department regulates food safety by inspecting a number of things, from refrigerator temperature to the presence insects and rodents. After a hearing officer upheld the revocation in response to an appeal by the owners, the City has made repeated efforts to gain compliance. The restaurant has refused to cease operations or comply.

“We were forced to revoke Back Street Grill’s permit because they threatened and denied access to our inspectors, and repeatedly removed our lawfully posted inspection tag” said Dr. Mark DiMenna, Acting Director for the City’s Environmental Health Department. “It’s unfair to all of the other regulated facilities who consistently meet our requirements. It’s our obligation to the law, our community, and other permit holders to pursue enforcement in this matter and bring them into compliance with the law.”

“As a result of management’s refusal to grant access to the facility, Environmental Health has not been able to conduct a food safety inspection since January,” DiMenna added. “We don’t have any knowledge or visibility with regard to their current food safety practices.”

In addition to the Hearing Officer’s ruling today, an earlier Temporary Restraining Order, granted in District Court, was served to Back Street Grill’s attorney on August 24. The restaurant failed to abide by that order, and continued operations. As directed by today’s ruling, Back Street Grill must immediately cease and desist all operations and close to the public.