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Restaurant Kolumbia

1801 K St. NW

Closed: May 18

Reopened: May 18

History: No citations listed in city records dating back to 2000

Health Department Says: Operating a food establishment without a valid license issued by the mayor; person in charge is not a certified food protection manager; operating a food establishment with gross unsanitary conditions including but not limited to heavy infestation of vermin

Business Says: It’s all true, except for the last part. “It was basically an expired business license and our food-handler’s certificate wasn’t up to date,” says Carolyn Stachowski, owner and manager of the swanky K Street restaurant. Though it was closed down for lunch, Restaurant Kolumbia was serving its “fine modern” cuisine again by dinnertime. Stachowski says she was able to handle the license and certificate so quickly because it was an honest mistake—a certified mix-up. “Our business license—they had our home address on it for some reason,” she says. But what about the “gross infestation of vermin”? “That’s not true,” Stachowski says. “The health department was here yesterday and [the inspector] said that there’s no rats or mice here. Our kitchen floor is clean enough to eat off of; we hose it down every night.” Stachowski says she should know a thing or two about eatery standards: “I’ve worked in other kitchens before—fine-dining kitchens—that were nowhere near as clean as ours is,” she says. “This is a nice, clean restaurant.”