An iconic restaurant and bar named after The Washington Post is temporarily closed after a food safety and hygiene inspector reported it had an “infestation of vermin” and issues with its plumbing and refrigerators.
Post Pub at 1422 L St. NW is closed until further notice following the D.C. Department of Health’s findings.
The pub was ordered closed for “operating with incorrect hot and cold holding temperatures for potentially hazardous foods” and “operating a food establishment with gross insanitary occurrence or condition or other circumstances that may endanger public health including but not limited to an infestation of vermin conditions,” according to a DOH closure notice.
Bob Beaulieu, the pub’s owner, said inspectors closed the restaurant around lunchtime yesterday over a sink that didn’t empty into an open-mouth drain, refrigerator temperatures that were too warm and rat droppings in the bar’s basement.
“I think they were picking on me,” Beaulieu said. “[The inspector] said, I’m going to shut you down until you satisfy the four items on the list. It just wasn’t fair.”
“The sink is now fine. It has an open drain spout underneath,” Beaulieu said. “And just for the record, my refrigerator was fine. When it’s lunchtime you have a three-door refrigerator and you’re opening the doors, the temperature is going to go up.”
Beaulieu also said that, although he hasn’t ever seen an actual rat in the bar’s basement, he had his exterminator check the area just in case.
“[The inspector] saw some droppings and said that’s enough, you evidently have them,” Beaulieu said. “I had my pest control guy do a clean sweep. He put out traps and poison. … We found some interior holes, but we patched them up.”
Beaulieu said that he’ll try to reopen this afternoon, but will most likely have to resume business on Monday.
“It just wasn’t fair,” he said. “I’m shut down for my busiest days.”
During his 40 years in operation, Beaulieu said a patron has only been sickened once, and that was in 1995. He also said the DOH has only closed the restaurant one other time in its history, a “pretty good record” by his standard.
“There’s a little disconnect between the real world and the health department. They’re government bureaucrats. That’s what they do,” he said. “We’re a typical dive bar downtown, but we’ll give you good food and friendly service here.”
Full DOH reports on restaurant closures are typically released within a few days of an inspection.