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

You Can Now Watch LES-Based ‘Off Track Betty’ Online

If you missed the showing of Clayton Dean Smith’s Off Track Betty at the Friends of the Elizabeth Street Garden Film Festival, you have another chance yet. Pulling down accolades from the 2016 Brooklyn Film Festival, the nineteen-minute short is now available for your online viewing pleasure, free of charge. The film tells the story of a longtime […]

Frustration Mounts Over Another Pier 35 Delay and Incomplete ‘Rutgers Pavilion’

The fact that Pier 35 and the adjacent Package 4 of the waterfront are not complete at this juncture is a total joke. Both components of the overall waterfront plan are way past due date, angering locals who are tired of constant setbacks and pitfalls. The new, revised, updated, pushed-back date is now pegged for […]

Seward Park Library Gets its New ‘Constellation’ Sculpture

The gated pathway in front of Seward Park Library – what was once part of Jefferson Street – now boasts some public artwork. Dubbed “Constellation,” the wooden seating arrangement is the first cycle of artwork by Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong for the year-long project. It was installed at the end of last week. The new sculpture […]

Brinkley’s and Southside are Finished After 12 Years, as Serafina Waits in the Wings

Brinkley’s and its Southside counterpart are both closing down after a dozen years on the border of Little Italy. The Martignetti brothers decided to cease operations at the latter club this past Saturday; the former will shutter middle of next week. Eater, which reported the news a couple weeks ago, dubbed the two bars “veritable meat […]

Straus Square CitiBike Dock Temporarily Removed, as Pedestrian Plaza Nears Activation

Yesterday morning, CitiBike dispatched a maintenance crew to Straus Square to extract its bicycle dock from the longtime perch. Flexible bollards that marked the hardware were likewise uprooted from the asphalt. CitiBike confirmed, however, that this removal is temporary, and at the “request of DOT.” All maps show this station – one that holds about […]

  • 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.