Is the Mission Chinese Backyard Dining Room Illegal?

Posted on: January 9th, 2013 at 6:09 am by

mission-chinese-orchard

Mission Chinese Food is a culinary juggernut, attracting crowds from all neighborhoods for a taste of Danny Bowien’s west coast style at 154 Orchard Street. Lines and loitering near the entrance are par for the course these days. Take-out isn’t so much the hassle, but scoring a seat in the back patio enclosure is the ticket. If you can actually nab a reservation, that is. But how safe is it really back there? And is the converted room actually legal?

One concerned tipster is raising red flags about the building and safety of this rear dining area. Up until 2008, the patio had been open to the elements. With the arrival of Bia Garden the next year, an aluminum frame was built and covered with clear ceiling to shelter the site. However, its composition evolved during the interim (i.e. Chinito, Rhong Tiam Express, etc.), and is now allegedly an unhealthy sandwich of plastic, wood, and tar-paper. The flammable covering coupled with lack of safe egress would appear to create a terrible fire hazard here.

154-orchard-enclosure-above

Technically speaking, however, all this should be moot considering the building owner only carries a temporary Certificate of Occupancy, and not even for the open rear space. According to the DOB database, 26-plus violations have accrued (and resolved) since 2004, most stemming from alleged illegal construction!

154-orchard-enclosure

Now it seems the DOB is again on the offenseive – a hearing has been scheduled for tomorrow (January 10) to discuss the C of O violation behind this illegal enclosure.

NOTED AT REAR YARD ROOF OF WOOD ON TOP OF METAL TRUSS & WOOD CENTER BEAM SPANNING SOUTH TO NORTH USE OF WOOD IN FIRE CODE(DISTRICT)ROLL ROOF TAR PAPER.REMEDY:OBTAIN ALL PERMITS &/OR APPROVALS

One can’t help but conjure memories of the fatal Happy Land Social Club fire that killed 87 trapped patrons back in 1990. In that instance, there was one egress, with fire exits blocked to prevent people from sneaking in.

[June 2011]

[June 2011]

Recent Stories

leftfield-ludlow-closing
Rumor: ‘Mini Rex’ Dry Karaoke Concept Banking on CB3 for Re-vote at Tonight’s Meeting

For Mini Rex, the struggle to establish a “dry karaoke” bar on Ludlow Street continues. Despite defeat. You’ll recall that the concept, co-founded by Edouard Gave and Karin Elgai, includes conjoined venues that would include separate entrances for sober and drinking patrons. Different wrist stamps for each side, but booze could be consumed in all the […]

Inside 102 Norfolk during Samy Mahfar's luxury conversion, July 2014
Report: Big Real Estate Against City Council Tenant Advocate Bill that would Curb Construction as Harassment

Last week, the City Council’s Committee on Housing and Buildings considered more than a dozen tenant-friendly bills that would provide protection from landlord harassment. Yet, one in particular, code-named Intro. 1523, drew the most attention, as it would carve out a new position within the Department of Buildings with the purpose of weighing tenants’ welfare […]

feltmans-logo-2
Wiener Classic: Feltman’s Hot Dogs Return to Coney Island After 63 Years

The prodigal hot dog is returning to Coney Island. After two years of developing a buzz for the dearly departed dog, which included a pop up stint at the Parkside Lounge, opening the East Village outpost Feltman’s Kitchen, and getting the wiener on the Mikey’s Burger menu, proprietor Michael Quinn is ready to bring Feltman’s of Coney Island […]

50clinton-reveal-1_wm
7-Story Condoplex at 50 Clinton Street Reveals its Brick Facade

Three years after Icon Realty sold its parcels at 50-62 Clinton Street to DHA Capital – it was a record $28.95 million transaction – the development it spawned now boasts some visible definition. Yesterday afternoon, the netting on the south side of the building was deposed to reveal the new masonry. Once complete, the luxury […]

peace-pentagon-nike-1_wm
Nike-KITH Sneaker Emporium Rumored for Rehabbed Peace Pentagon on Lafayette Street

Contrary to rumors that circulated the neighborhood last year, the former Peace Pentagon will not become luxury living. Nor will you recognize it once that five-story box is removed. The narrative here is a pivot from activism to consumerism. Specifically, sneakers. Permits issued by the Department of Buildings in late-December indicate that 337-339 Lafayette is […]

  • david

    …plus with the hot chili’s!

  • booger

    twas inevitable…and they know that. they will upgrade at a new locale

  • jay

    About the same time period , there was a 7th story addition on this same building that was built without permits. It’s a studio apartment.