DC Health Department Bails on ANC6B Meeting (Popeyes, Maybe?)
by Larry Janezich
Posted November 10, 2021
The Food Safety and Hygiene Division of the DC Department of Health was scheduled to make a presentation at ANC6B’s virtual monthly meeting last night but failed to show up despite having confirmed their appearance with Chair Brian Ready.
Ready had invited DC DOH to talk to the committee about health inspection procedures and frequency in the wake of the closure of Popeyes on Barracks Row for health code violations. The closure appears to be permanent after the owner subsequently lost the Popeyes franchise.
Ready told the ANC he was disappointed in DOH’s failure to appear. “If [the video of rats in the kitchen which had gone viral on Twitter and TikTok] had not come out, would the restaurant still be open? What’s going on with the other restaurants on the block? The buildings are old and interconnected. I wonder how often they are inspected. I’m disappointed they did not show up. I have a lot of questions about the safety of restaurants in the city.”
Ready noted the efforts ANC6B had taken to require new or remodeled restaurants on Barracks Row to install cooled indoor trash storage rooms as a means of controlling rodents. ANC6B had pioneered requiring restaurants to provide indoor trash storage, using the public pressure and the power of the ANC to support liquor license applications as leverage. New and remodled restaurants on Barracks Row have complied, and & Pizza on the same block as the former Popeyes has one of the best indoor trash storage spaces. Popeyes trash storage, Ready said, had been grandfathered in. Neighbors pressured them into enclosing their trash area behind the restaurant, but have complained about its lack of effectiveness.
Ready commended the 7th Street neighbors for being vigilant in monitoring the restaurant rodent problem and for their organized support for indoor trash storage all along Barracks Row. He said he would work to schedule an appearance by Food Safety and Hygiene in the near future.