Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 12:39 PM ET, 06/22/2009

Breadline Closed for Now

By Julia Beizer

A sign on Breadline's door Monday morning. (Julia Beizer - The Washington Post)

The Breadline, a simple lunch spot that had earned a place in Tom Sietsema's 2006 Dining Guide, is temporarily closed for health code violations. According to a report filed on Thursday, the restaurant was shut down for these reasons: "Operating without a valid license, operating with incorrect hot and cold holding temps for potentially hazardous foods that do not comply with the food code and could not be corrected at the time of the inspection. Failing to minimize the presence of vermin on the premises and operating a food establishment with circumstances that may endanger the public health."

"We are working closely with the District to make all the necessary repairs to bring the Breadline operation up to code," said Morell Marean, vice president of operations for Breadline. He added later, "we're working to remediate all of the issues within the restaurant thoroughly and completely to meet and exceed Health Department standards." According to Marean, his company began architecture and engineering work for a full-scale renovation of the Breadline space six months ago because they wanted to upgrade the aging restaurant.

"I was disappointed when I heard the news," said local bread legend Mark Furstenberg. Furstenberg founded Breadline in the late 1990s, but sold his interest in the company more than two years ago and now has no involvement with it. Located at 17th and Pennsylvania, the restaurant has been a favorite of nearby workers for many years.

Marean hopes to have the restaurant up and running in a few days (pending the Health Department re-inspection), with a larger renovation to follow once permitting is complete.

-- Julia

UPDATE: Breadline has reopened after a clean re-inspection.

By Julia Beizer  | June 22, 2009; 12:39 PM ET
Categories:  Restaurants  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: D.C.'s World Is About to Start Getting Real
Next: Free and Easy Events

Search Going Out Guide for More Events

By Keyword


After reading about Breadline's vermin issues and other potentially serious problems, my stomach revolts at the idea of ever going back to Breadline. But maybe I'm overreacting. Some context would be useful. How common are these types of violations? How seriously should we take them? C'mon, Washington Post, tell us what we really need to know about stuff like this.

Posted by: amalie_k | June 22, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Good! That place is so incredibly over hyped. The meat is dry, the bread is passable and it's 110 degrees in there all summer.

Posted by: lordscarlet1 | June 22, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Well, after this, it will be the cleanest place to eat, at least initially.

I always gasp when I get to the register here.

Posted by: chunche | June 22, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for your question, amalie_k. Take a spin through these not-quite-up-to-date reports on the HRLA Web site and you'll see other similar violations.

As I mentioned above, the restaurant will to have make all necessary repairs and pass re-inspection before it re-opens.

Posted by: Julia Beizer | June 22, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

RE: Amalie's question, these are serious violations. Some of the "non-serious" citations are operating without a licensed manager on the premises or lacking a permit (usually a renewal issue), but pests and food temperature issues should be taken seriously.

Posted by: OneSockOn | June 22, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I've always been underwhelmed by this place anyway. Have tried it a couple of times based on how much it has been touted by the Post in the past and always found the quality of the food to not be worth the price, the crowds, etc.

Posted by: AK33077 | June 22, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

FYI, you can read all of Virginia's restaurant inspections at It's really interesting reading, and you can quickly see which violations are more important than others.

Posted by: IHateParis | June 22, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Incorrect holding temperatures for hot and cold food and not minimizing vermin are serious violations that can endanger patron health.

Posted by: Judy9 | June 22, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

What people don't realize is that pretty much *all* restaurants are filthy. Ask anyone who's worked in a commercial kitchen: they all have stories that will turn your stomach.

If you want clean, healthy food, cook it yourself. Seriously.

Posted by: xckq | June 22, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Not to ruin anyone's lunch, but if you saw the "back-of-the-house" in HALF of DC restaurants you would never eat there.

The health inspections there are a joke.

Posted by: gitarre | June 22, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company