Hell’s Kitchen restaurant Café Forant will close in January, and owners Carolyn Montgomery Forant and Lea Forant blame the excessive fines levied by the Department of Health. “We’re never going to succeed with them the way they are,” says Carolyn, telling DNAInfo that the fines — up to $4,600 at a time — have been constant and sometimes confusing. The Forants say they received one fine for storing ingredients on a shelf “without doors.” After buying a cabinet to replace the shelves, for example, the restaurant was fined by the same inspector because the cabinet doors were not locked.
“We have a classic middle American dream and we’ve been squashed by them again and again,” Carolyn Forant tells the site, adding that many of the violations the restaurant has received are the result of landlord negligence.
Last month, the owner of the 85-year-old West Village restaurant El Faro said he would close to restaurant indefinitely because he could not afford the $80,000 in health department fines.