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

centrefuge14-3
Centre-fuge Debuts Cycle 14 Artwork on East 1st Street

Participants in cycle 14 of the Centre-fuge public art project spent the last five days decorating the mid-block construction trailer. Its corrugated siding now carries the colorful aerosol artwork of Adam Kidder, Alexander Prosser, J. David McKenney, Jeromy Velasco, Master Moody Mutz, Nether, and Raquel Echanique. Our two favorites this time around are the “turtle terrarium” and […]

sinking-sidewalk-orchard-1
Sinking Sidewalk on Orchard Street a Continual Threat; This is How the City Reacts

How deep must this corner pit sink before the city starts paying attention? For months, the sidewalk at Orchard and Delancey has been gradually dipping below street level. Torrential downpours and excessive heat certainly exacerbate the situation. Our last depth measurement came in at five inches, and by all accounts, a liability waiting to collect. […]

1ludlow-shed
Three Points and Ludlow Inn Begin Renovations Down at 1 Ludlow Street

Months of silence on the ground level of 1 Ludlow Street recently concluded. The incoming bar-restaurant-speakeasy concept – dubbed Three Points and Ludlow Inn respectively – is now amidst full throttle renovations. Build-out has been underway the last few weeks behind closed doors. But now it’s headed outside; as of yesterday, a new sidewalk enclosure is affixed […]

little-muenster-misrahi
Looks Like Little Muenster is Closing Its Grilled Cheese Spot on Stanton Street

While one grilled cheese joint begins business on Allen Street, another is sunsetting. Little Muenster is seemingly in the twilight of its tenure at 100 Stanton Street. Melted fortune, if you will. That much is clear by Misrahi’s tombstone signage sitting above the entryway. We reached out to the Little Muenster and received the following […]

forever-antiques-1
Abe’s Antiques on Stanton Street is a Set for ABC’s ‘Forever’

Don’t get your hopes up; that’s not a real antiques store at the northeast corner of Suffolk and Stanton Streets. We’re told that Abe’s Antiques is simply masquerading as a retail setting for the upcoming ABC television series Forever. Apparently the filming crews will return to number 154 later this week to capture more scenes. For […]

  • 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.