Glad they’re telling us now

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Because of all the deaths and illnesses attributable to our library’s rat-infested coffee shop, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (Division of Environmental Health) has seen fit to the uphold the public good and shut down the Butler denizen’s only source of sustenance, Blue Java.

Of course Blue Java hasn’t killed anybody and isn’t infested by rats. Or is it? This notice from the NYCDoHaMH (DoEH), apparently posted at around 11 AM this morning, leaves much to the imagination. But given the recent spate of arbitrary restaurant closings, it’s likely that Blue’s violations were pretty mild.

To confirm this, Bwog called the Health Department’s media desk, where we were brusquely informed that inquiries “take a long while” to process, and we were referred to an e-mail address where we could make a formal request for information ([email protected], for the interested). Since we’re not down with bureaucratic red tape, Bwog dialed the media desk again. Much to our relief we were answered by a different receptionist, who said she would try to get to the bottom of the Blue Java mystery by the end of business hours today.

She also told us about the Health Department’s nifty search engine feature. It seems that Blue Java has an impeccable inspection record, although Bwog is outraged that a dry establishment would so flagrantly endanger public health by not adequately warning customers about the dangers of “Alcohol and Pregnancy.”

UPDATE, 10:21 AM EST, 6/20:  There is now a sign right beneath the Health Department notice stating that the Department has required Blue Java to have a two-welled sink, and that the coffee shop will be closed until it complies. Could this be an all-too-transparent cover-up by library management? Doubtful, but for the suspicious: Bwog has been informed that Health Department violations usually hit the public domain after about a week, so if you’re still interested check back next Wednesday.


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  1. ifearmice  

    Here's the email that was sent to the library staff listserv. I'm a bit skeptical about their claims that this is caused by a *sink*.. the first floor of the library has mice (and occasionally, rats).. surely they could migrate upstairs.

    "Blue Java in Butler Library has been closed by the NYC Health Dept due to an issue with the type of sink that is used. The Blue Java staff is working with the NYC Health Dept and CU Facilities to correct the situation as quickly as possible."

    • ARR

      A slight addendum: There is currently a sign posted outside of Blue Java explaining that they are going to install a two-chambered sink in compliance with the New York health code. However, lounge denizens informed us that the health inspectors had mentioned several more violations when talking to BJ management, including one concerning open containers of ice.

  2. current violation  

    points: 2...

    wait, what? john jay dining hall has 20, yet they still let (make) us eat there.

  3. ...

    So does this mean that we're allowed to bring food in again?

  4. ...

    Thanks to summer hours, I don't think they'll be sleeping in the library. Summer hours at Butler are terrible.

  5. Anonymous


    I think this might be the wrong Blue Java. "Butler Coffee Bar" at 535 W. 114th Street had 64 violation points at its last inspection in May of this year. Just a thought.


  6. yeah

    I think the Blue Java with only 2 violation points is the one in Dodge.

  7. Fun Activity

    When people leave their stuff unattended in Butler during finals, simply place it neatly in a corner and take the seat. If they complain tell them you are imposing eminent domain on their blighted table.

    Works especially well on tables like this: http://bwog.net/publicate/index.php?page=post&article_id=3635#comments

  8. Brendan

    this is pointless, but...

    the information that the health department puts out next week will almost certainly not be in the public domain, because if they're like any other branch of the government, they'll want to be able to prevent creative re-use of their information. They'll actually be making that information publicly accessible, which is a far less open right.

  9. amused  

    I have to admit, I was pretty amused by the tour guides going through Butler today talking about the "Awesome frappuchino thingys" that they sell and at the same time watching all of the skeptical parents read the poster.

  10. re: kts  

    weird--the link you posted doesn't contain any mention of a 64 point inspection, unless i'm misreading something..

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