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Prince Cafe

4629 41st St. NW

Closed: Feb. 5


Reopened: Feb. 12

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History: Prince Cafe’s 41st Street NW location had not incurred a previous violation. A Prince location on Prospect Street NW, however, incurred 20 violations during four separate inspections in 2002, 2003, and 2005; and a Wisconsin Avenue NW location incurred eight violations in September 2005.

Health Department Says: Operating a food establishment with gross unsanitary conditions; no current business license issued by the mayor for food production or sales; operating a food establishment with no running hot water.

Business Says: Blame it on the renovations. “We were, like, remodeling in the store,” says manager Samy Ali, who adds that while the restaurant was open for hookah smoking, the kitchen was closed. “It was kind of weird for us,” he continues. “Honestly, I don’t deal as much with 41st Street. We don’t have this kind of problems.” But why the no-hot-water and unsanitary-conditions charges? “We had a lot of work going on in the store. Summer is coming up. Summertime is where the business is coming,” Ali says. “It’s always a big deal because you’re dealing with food, you know what I mean? If anything turns bad, that’s a loss for us.”