The Angry Crab remains closed as the problems with a walk-in cooler remain unresolved. City health inspectors flunked the restaurant after a re-inspection on Friday. They initially shut down the restaurant on Tuesday, Oct. 18. The cooler wasn’t keeping seafood and other uncooked food stored at a low-enough temperature.
Co-owner David Nguyen blamed an equipment mix up, as the restaurant tried to address the inspector’s concerns. A technician installed a new cooler compressor the day before, and the cooler was working. But on Friday morning, the cooler began to fail and they realized the technician had installed the wrong model compressor for the cooler. The proper compressor was swapped in, but not in time to bring the cooler down to the mandated 40 degrees before the inspector arrived on Friday afternoon. Inspectors on Friday recorded an ambient temperature of 42.6 degrees, according to records.
"Usually [it] would take at least a few hours for compressors to fully engage and we did not give it the time it needed being an early afternoon inspection," Nguyen wrote. "Again timing was off this time but the unit is completely brand new and needed ambient temperature to adjust accordingly."
The Angry Crab awaits another inspection so they could reopen. The restaurant is an Eater Chicago 38 member and one of the first restaurants in the city to popularize spicy, Cajun/Asian-spiced seafood served in plastic bags. A second location in Wicker Park remains unaffected. Nguyen added that he and his staff take the inspections seriously. He wants the public to know they receive proper training and perform audits regularly. The failed inspections will force them to administer further scrutiny.
"We will focus on training our staff in additional quality control and food safety methods," Nguyen added.