Katz’s Takes New Tone on Letter Grades After C-Worthy Inspection

Photo: Shanna Ravindra

Last month Katzs owner Alan Dell said he was all in favor of letter grades (Now youll feel comfortable and safe when you go out to eat, he told QPR magazine). It made sense since Katzs has been in the A to B range for the past few years, but a report now on the Health Departments website indicates that the venerable deli failed an inspection earlier this month owing to evidence of roaches and mice, as well as one of the temperature violations that have been vexing delis of late. The 47 demerits puts it safely in the C range (i.e., 28-plus demerits), so we had to ask Dell how he feels about the letter grades now.

Dell tells us that, actually, hes not thrilled about the fact that letter grades will stay up on his window until hes reinspected again. Sometimes they take points off when they arent warranted, and that sits with you till the next time youre inspected, which could be six months. (Actually, C-grade restaurants will be reinspected within 90 to 150 days.) Dell says that health inspections are not a perfect system it all depends on which inspectors come in. Sometimes you get a rude disgusting person, and sometimes you get a nice, normal person. Still, hes not too rattled about the new system. I dont think its going to hurt business or help business I just think people will get used to whatever it is. Would I rather have it the old way? Yeah, but not enough to make a fuss about it.

KATZ'S DELICATESSEN Restaurant Inspection Information [DOH]