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

7th-precinct
The LES Dwellers Call for Dissolution of 7th Precinct Community Council

The flashpoint local block association, LES Dwellers, are again at the forefront of controversy. This time, ire is directed toward the 7th Precinct Community Council for purported lack of transparency. The proverbial straw that broke the Hell Square back was cancellation of the scheduled public session at the last community affairs meeting on Wednesday. From the mailbag: […]

rivington-wall-mural
‘Rivington Wall’ Mural Programming Christened by the Bowery

The wallspace beside the On Stellar Rays gallery is officially its own exhibition space. What began with a mural by RETNA one year ago is now a fully-fledged project with a revolving door of art programming. It’s called the “Rivington Wall,” courtesy of Parasol Projects. Artwork is scheduled to change every four to six weeks. […]

Penny Arcade
You Must See Penny Arcade’s ‘Longing Lasts Longer’

I’m just going to jump right into it. You have to go see Penny Arcade’s LONGING LASTS LONGER at Joe’s Pub. I went this past Monday night, and I really want to share it with all of you awesome people because I know that you would have as much fun as I did. Plus, considering […]

Photo: @JeffKurzon
London Kaye Brings RHCP’s Flea to The Lower East Side

There’s another yarn bomber rocking the Lower East Side. Part Olek, part HOTTEA, fellow New Yorker London Kaye is adorning the outdoor surfaces of the city with her clever crocheting. One of her more recent pieces depicts a cartoonish Michael Peter Balzary, or, as most of the world know him – Flea. That’s right, the Red Hot Chili […]

Photo: Kevin Gannon
Looking Back at a Decade of Demolition on Upper Orchard Street [PHOTOS]

It was a slow death, but Ben “Sledgehammer” Shaoul finally cleared out the small businesses operating at the corner of Orchard and East Houston. A parcel for which he paid $75 million. Now, with the wrecking ball mid-swing, and ten floors of condos (plus an Equinox gym) in tow, we got to reminiscing. Yes. It’s […]

  • 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.