Nussbaum & Wu has been closed again for a few days for unknown reasons. It doesn’t seem to be permanently closed, but the storefront’s sign does not indicate why they are closed or when they will reopen. They also only took cash for a few days before closing, and the tables outside are gone.
According to the website of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Nussbaum scored 34 points in its most recent health inspection on May 1. For some perspective, 28 points or above is the threshold for the dreaded C grade. A restaurant needs 13 points or below for an A grade, and between 14 and 27 for a B. Though this does not necessarily explain the closure, since the inspection was almost two months ago, it is definitely something to keep in mind.
The Department of Health’s guide to its scoring system explains that if a restaurant receives a B or C grade, it will receive a grade card and a grade pending card, and it can post either until its case is heard at the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings Health Tribunal. Nussbaum currently displays the grade pending card.
Nussbaum had maintained an A grade for the majority of recent memory until it was shut down last March for animal droppings in its basement. According to the Department of Health’s website, the inspection on March 20th was an ungraded inspection; such inspections “evaluate a restaurant’s compliance with laws such as the Smoke-Free Air Act and others not directly related to food safety.” Initial inspections that score 14 points or higher are also scored but not graded. Nussbaum earned 35 violation points in that inspection, and five points in another ungraded follow-up inspection three days later.
Before the most recent inspection in May, Nussbaum’s last graded inspection was in September 2017, where they earned 13 points, the maximum number of points that a restaurant can get and still receive an A grade.
Update June 25, 11:54 am: A sign was posted to the storefront earlier today, saying that Nussbaum & Wu has closed its doors, and that the owner “has failed the community of Columbia University and all his vendors.” The sign, which has since been taken down, also listed a phone number for said owner. The name posted on the sign was not Harry Nussbaum or George Wu, the co-founders of Nussbaum & Wu.
One anonymous local noticed that the eatery’s owner disappeared last Sunday (June 17). He told Senior Staffer Levi Cohen that the owner didn’t come very often to begin with, but that he actually vanished last Sunday. Supply vendors apparently kept making deliveries, and he said that it seemed like they didn’t know that the place was closed.
Another worker at a nearby business said to Levi that Nussbaum closed around last Monday or Tuesday (June 18 or 19), and there were a lot of people in line to get in, but it seemed like Nussbaum’s manager was giving out the workers’ last checks before closing the business for good. Though none of this information is directly from Nussbaum & Wu, and it is still not entirely clear what is happening, the evidence seems to point to the tragic conclusion that Nussbaum is gone for good.
There is currently no one inside of Nussbaum & Wu, only the derelict remains of bagels past and leftover cookies sitting forlornly in glass jars. The black, metal tables, once so coveted by MoHi residents, stand upside down, no longer serving their purpose. The once-yellow, unnaturally warm lights are off, and shining rays of sunlight illuminate the odd bike and some leftover boxes that remain as a reminder of better days.
Update June 26 9:17 pm: It looks like Nussbaum is closed for good. A notice from Con Edison saying that the gas and electricity will be cut off unless further action is taken was found on the storefront today. RIP Nussbaum & Wu, 1998-2018.
Nussbaum woes via Sarah Kinney, Zoe Sottile, and Levi Cohen, mysterious sign and Con Edison via Alyssa Gengos