Tunnicliff’s Tavern Getting Genuinely Scary – Restaurant Ranks 23rd on List of Top Health Code Violators


Tunnicliff’s Ready for Hilloween

Tunnicliff’s Tavern Getting Genuinely Scary – Restaurant Ranks 23rd on List of Health Code Violators

by Larry Janezich

Tunnicliff’s Tavern at 222 7th Street, SE, across from Eastern Market, has not fared well on recent health department inspections. It ranks 23rd on the list of health code violators with a total of 30 violations registered in three inspections done last November, this March and in August of this year. Twelve of the violations were deemed “critical.”

Despite being told to fix certain problems within 45 days, inspectors returned to find some of the same violations. Most critical among these was the discovery of food storage on the floor, which might help to explain the mice droppings and “live roaches” found throughout the establishment.

In addition to its location at the center of the Eastern Market Hilloween celebration tonight, it has been a gathering spot for local politicos to watch election returns on election night, and other community special events. In light of its status in the neighborhood, it was particularly disappointing to see the repeat health code violations, even when it came to simple items like posting hand-washing signs for employees in the restroom.


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13 responses to “Tunnicliff’s Tavern Getting Genuinely Scary – Restaurant Ranks 23rd on List of Top Health Code Violators

  1. Maggie Hall

    Really sad to read this …but the food is still fantastic. We eat there several times a week – and we’re still here to tell the tale!

  2. Sandy Irvin

    I am the General Manager at Tunnicliff’s and I am very upset with the content of your article. It would have been nice to be able to defend ourselves against some of the accusations made against us. We take whatever the Health Department tells us very seriously, and would never blatantly ignore anything they told us to do. We take pride in our business and work very hard to make Tunnicliff’s a safe, clean, fun, and enjoyable experience for our customers. I really wish our voice could have been heard before you wrote such scathing comments about us and our integrity. Such a shame. Thank you for the time you took to read this.
    Sandy Irvin

  3. Kathleen

    Defend yourself against the accusations of the Health Department?
    I don’t see much bias in reporting them. Why the repeat offenses? And why the trash heap behind your restaurant? Save the PR; pick up the broom.

  4. Johanna

    They have delicious food and nice atmosphere. It is one of the best places on Capitol Hill, which is opened on any holiday or weather conditions. And what is it about defending yourself? As far as I concerned everyone has a right to leave a comment here. I would love to see one place in DC that does not have any violations. It’s a CITY, and it should be understandable. I am very sure they do everything possible to maintain the place clean and healthy.

  5. Richard

    Gosh!!!! Did you people really think that all of the places you go to are perfectly clean behind the curtain?? Well.. Welcome to Earth! Common people! Let’s be realistic! The place is great! It is a second home for many of us in the neighborhood. Check out the other restaurants on that list, Tunnicliffs is definately not the one that deserves that much attention.

  6. David Healy

    Many of you do not know just how good a restaurant Tunnicliff’s was when it first opened.

  7. Kathleen

    And many of you don’t understand that the Tunnicliff’s is the highest rank violator on the list from Capitol Hill, and that you have to scroll down quite a ways before you encounter another one.
    Roaches and mice are real, as is the mess in the alley, which is far worse than anything else on that stretch. I would be so much more willing to go back to Tunnicliff’s if they admitted their mistakes and vowed to do better, rather than send out their minions to dismiss the violations in the first place.

  8. Steve

    Politicians and roaches. Seem to go together. Have never been there and this is a good reason to not start.

  9. Melissa Mer

    My husband and I eat at Tunnis many times a week. We also are friends with Larry. On this one, he is wrong. If there are health violations (and I am not too confident about the DC government), they have been or will soon be addressed, as Sandy noted. I am so glad that we have a local pub where we can grab a beer and see folks we know. Tunnis is awesome.

  10. S.Sweek

    About two years ago, I met two friends there for lunch. All was well, we ordered two meals and waited with our beverages. Our friend, BACK IN THE DAY BEFORE GLUTEN-FREE WAS WIDELY AVAILABLE, pulled her gluten-free lunch out of her bag (she has MS). The waiter came and kicked us out, even though we had two full lunch orders already in the kitchen. I checked later with the manager — and she said yes, that was policy. So, they insulted a disabled person, and kicked out two paying customers. I still can’t figure that one out.

  11. Mark

    This looks bad for Tunnicliff’s especially when Good Guys strip club on Wisconsin Ave has a better score. I think the managers need to spend less time trying to defend the poor score and spend more time being pro-active in correcting long term health code violations. THAT is what a manager does.

  12. Tunni-who?

    I’m in the restaurant business, and will attest to at times getting an inspector having a bad hair day – and they will give you violations for seemingly BS stuff. But there are a few violations in the report that look legit. That being said, I’m sure Tunni’s has addressed them. One bad report is just that, one bad report and a snapshot in time. Now, if there is an ongoing history of bad reports with serious food safety violations (as opposed to whether you have X sign posted) then it is cause for some concern among patrons. I’m not aware that this is the case with Tunni’s. As a disclaimer I have no relationship with the place, am not a regular and honestly have set foot in there about twice in the past 10 years. Both times I either didn’t like the meal or on the second time for brunch… well the service simply couldn’t handle the brunch rush and our food came in out seperately at about 25 minute intervals… which obviously wasn’t an ideal brunch scenario.