Constellation Culinary Takes Dramatic Steps at Correction

Café at Cornell Tech Reacts Quickly After Being Stung by NYC DOH "C" Rating

Updated 47 weeks ago
Café at Cornell Tech Reacts Quickly After Being Stung by NYC DOH "C" Rating
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

On Saturday, we reported that the popular café at Cornell Tech received the lowest rating, short of closure, available from the New York City Department of Health after an inspection on October 5th. Today, Constellation Culinary Group, managers of the operation, responded swiftly to restore faith in the business. Here is their public statement.

October 22, 2018

Dear Roosevelt Island Community:

Our company, Constellation Culinary Group (formerly Starr Catering Group), has been operating The Café @ Cornell Tech since 2017. We have had restaurants, cafés and catering businesses in New York City since 2011 and today we operate 18 locations throughout the city.

On Friday, October 5, The Café was inspected by the New York City Health Department and regrettably received a ‘C.’ The only grade that is acceptable to us is an ‘A.’ We have failed to meet that expectation and are profoundly sorry for not fulfilling our commitment to all of you, our valued guests.

Food safety is our top priority and we have committed significant resources to immediately address this situation. We have already implemented the following corrective measures and are looking to schedule a follow-up inspection in the very near future.

With full transparency, the grade was the result of the following key issues:

  • The presence of fruit and food flies in the kitchen and dry storage room.
  • Standing water on the kitchen floor beneath the dishwasher and sink.
  • Food particle build up on the floors of the dry goods storage room.
  • Required maintenance of ice machines not carried out per specification.

We want to assure you that our daily food handling practices, including the use of gloves for ready-to-eat foods and food held and served at the correct temperatures, were not an issue.

We took immediate action following the inspection, including completing the following corrective measures:

  • We have replaced our General Manager effective immediately with a new General Manager, Christopher Lewis, who brings more than 15 years of foodservice operational leadership experience to the team.
  • We have re-assigned supervision to Vice President of Operations, Rob Esplen, who has been onsite, working with the management team over the past two weeks.
  • We have selected a new pest management provider who has already carried out its services with excellent results. Based on industry best practices, the exterminator is providing eco-friendly, FDA-approved treatments every three days until the problem is completely eradicated.
  • We made necessary plumbing repairs to correct the standing water issue.
  • We completed necessary maintenance to the ice machines.
  • We hired a third-party sanitation and food safety consulting firm to remain on
  • site this past week to conduct refresher cleaning and sanitation training with the team and implement best practices across the operation. This firm will conduct follow-up visits on a monthly basis moving forward to monitor progress.
  • We have installed door sweeps on all kitchen doors.

Constellation Culinary Group
667 North Broad Street Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19123

If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact Scott Steenrod, Managing Director, at

Café at Cornell Tech Reacts Quickly After Being Stung by NYC DOH "C" Rating


Comments powered by Disqus

Assorted Ideas

NYC weekend things to do

NYC weekend things to do, September 20th thru 22nd, 2019, suggested activities… The air is fresher, temperatures are cooler, and the tourist tide receded. It’s…

Continue reading → NYC weekend things to do

The post NYC weekend things to do appeared first on Assorted Ideas, Large & Small.

10 Ways to See New York City

There are more than 10 Ways to See New York City. What comes to mind when you imagine New York City? Times Square? Central Park? The Empire State Building? Maybe, the Statue of Liberty? Here, I'll offer some other, less obvious choices.

The post 10 Ways to See New York City appeared first on Assorted Ideas, Large & Small.

Coonrod tackles Flannery O’Connor

Karin Coonrod tackles Flannery O’Connor on tour, starting this weekend at Loyola University of Chicago. Her latest work with Compagnia de’ Colombari brings O’Connor’s short…

Continue reading → Coonrod tackles Flannery O’Connor

The post Coonrod tackles Flannery O’Connor appeared first on Assorted Ideas, Large & Small.

Where did our crime go? –NYC

Where did our crime go? In August, it happened again, and the Mayor’s press conference with the Police Commissioner James O’Neill confirmed it. Crime disappears…

Continue reading → Where did our crime go? –NYC

The post Where did our crime go? –NYC appeared first on Assorted Ideas, Large & Small.