Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Ray's Problem is Greater than Just Diminishing Revenues and the Unpaid Rent ....

Night before last Fox 5 News noted that in addition to being behind in his rent payments Ray also had a problem with the non-compliance of his facilities with the Fire Code . More accurately stated , the problem is a claimed non-compliance-please click on and read above document- with Article 13 of the NYC building code and this article's governing reference standards.
Above is a document which lists the landlord's insurance company's requirements that must be met before coverage for 113 avenue A can be provided . Notably a ventilation system , a hood and an automatic fire suppression system is requested to be installed by Ray . Quarterly system cleaning certificates are also required . Such requirements for insurance coverage are standard practice .
On the first page of this document this insurance company requires that Ray must add the landlord as an "additional insured" on Ray's own general commercial liability insurance . Ray's insurance must meet or exceed the landlords insurance in coverage . Such is all standard insurance practice . Ray does not have such insurance .
NFPA#96 ( a reference standard of Article 13 of the NYC building code) listed above is : National Fire Protection Assoc. Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations . This standard is one of the the primary controlling standards for commercial cooking operations that produce grease-laden fumes and vapors . By the letter of this standard it does not matter whether such commercial cooking is accomplished with residential or commercial equipment nor does it matter whether there is an open flame or an electric heating element producing the heat necessary for the commercial cooking process . It is the production of and the necessity of removing these combustible grease-laden fumes and vapors that requires the hood , exhaust duct system and automatic fire suppression system .
Ray uses 2 deep fat fryers to produce his Belgian Fries .The landlord's insurer in effect argues that thse 2 fryers produce grease-laden fumes and vapors and that thus Ray is required to comply with the NYC building code requirements listed in the above document ..
Article 13 of the NYC Building Code is commonly the Mechanical Ventilation Code .
UL300 is a reference standard that certifies automatic fire suppression systems of the "Ansul " type , seen commonly in kitchens throughout the city . There are of course other codes and standards governing here also .
For more of the latest from EVGrieve concerning Ray and his candy store :

Has Ray ever had this insurance? If not, has the landlord allowed him to continue business without it for 30+ years? I'd be curious to know how many other businesses are not quite up to date with their policies...this just smells like a new reason to shut him down in case he does end up getting the rent money together.
Is Ray behind on his apartment rent also????
Googla ,Ray's frying activities are rather recent in origin .Thus these activities have not had an opportunity to become an issue until now.Because of the way that insurers work and the existence of building code requirements it was inevitable that they would .

There is some hazard here ; thats why the codes read as they do .

It was apparently noticed recently by an insurance company inspector that Ray had 2 fryers thus the red-light sort of concern . Everyone is covering their asses. .
Ray has never had any insurance of any kind .
Ray's residential rent is paid up . the building's super helped Ray pay the 2 month residential rent bill.
That's really nice Ray's super did that.

As for the insurance, this makes sense now. Maybe there is someone out there experienced with ventilation systems who could lend a hand installing one? Seems to me (although I admit I really know nothing about this), that it wouldn't be too complicated putting in a pipe and a fan and making sure it's up to code.
Anarchy isn't all it's c racked up to be, is it? It's one thing to refuse to accept personal responsibility, it's another to refuse to accept professional liability.
But, really, it's all bull; grease isn't flammable and fire doesn't kill.
Ray's super is a sweetheart for helping him out with the rent. I do worry that all of the increased attention on Ray in the media is going to backfire because aside from not being up to code with the fire/insurance issue I wouldn't be surprised if his place isn't up to code in terms of health and sanitation. I know he does the best he can but the hot dog machine and all that needs to be cleaned and serviced regularly and that likely isn't happening. Forget about the landlord. I am worried the health department will shut Ray down first unless he can get his business in order.
Ray cleans his equipment all the time. I have eaten there and had many egg creams and have never been sick.
What is most necessary here in our opinion is that Ray needs help with 2 tasks .
1. Ray needs assistence in obtaining his Social Security benefits. this is the most important of all things because it is possible that his candy store is really going to close for good . .
If a competent lawyer is actully put to work on this task it can likely rather easily be accomplished . As of now ... absolutely no one is working to this end .

2 . Ray needs help in negotiating a way to continue his candy store operation . Perhaps such a deal could include a longer term lease with ,in consideration of the current bussiness reality ,a modest rent reduction .Ray would agree not to do certain kinds of cooking ,would change his operations to work more effeciently lowering his costs and would also purchase a general commercial liability policy for his candy store .
With a longer term lease he could possibly encourage investors to help him with his business .Perhaps he could then afford to develop some new profitable products that the current East Village residents and visitors would want to buy .
His hot dog machine is is the rest of his shop, but some of his practices don't appear up to code, just from a casual visit to his shop.

Using that consumer grade espresso machine from the 80's isn't a great idea, in my opinion.

WIthout the proper ventilation/hood systems, he's not supposed to be cooking in there at all, so how was he passing health inspections? If he can't provide insurance, and he's not up to code, then that's like living somewhere without a certificate of occupancy.

Just as a side note, we really don't know what the landlord is going through financially, and they might be having troubles of their own updating their own insurance requirements after having neglecting Ray in the ground floor for so long. It's also possible they have to update the building and have their own troubles. Either way, Ray isn't in a position to request the landlord participate in his renovation but that is his only option.I appreciate that the tone seems to be to keep Ray afloat without demonizing anyone in the process.

I hope it all comes together for him somehow, someway, but honestly, raising his prices on some of the more casual items like egg creams, a lot more like giving him a donation, rather than just giving him business....which I'd like to start doing on a regular basis now that I realize he's there.
Maybe the Slactivist will pull the odd's on this one by getting some law students to help ....
If Ray needs a used ventilation control and fire protection Hood for his shop, "THE WALLS THAI ON 2 RESTAURANT" went under,and is having an aution on WED FEB 3 AT 11:00 AM. See:
If Ray needs a used ventilation control and fire protection Hood for his shop, "THE WALLS THAI ON 2 RESTAURANT" went under,and is having an aution on WED FEB 3 AT 11:00 AM.See:
Let me add a third priority to Bob's list. We have to get the crusties to stop hanging out in front of Ray's and harassing customers. Maybe the men aren't afraid but there are a lot of women and kids who want to go into Ray's but have to avoid the place when the crusties are out there causing trouble. I don't know how we can do this but we have to try. Does anyone have any ideas?
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