Pel' Meni shut down by state health inspector until violations are cleared

New inspection scheduled for today at popular downtown dumpling restaurant
Pel' Meni restaurant's window shows a closure notice after an Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation inspector found numerous violations Wednesday.

The Wharf’s Russian dumpling joint, Pel’ Meni, was shut down by the Department of Environmental Conservation on Wednesday afternoon due to health code violations.

“The only reason we generally shut down is for imminent public health concerns,” said Environmental Health Officer Jason Wiard. “In this case, a lot of the stuff was structural.”

Sink issues constituted a large part of these structural problems. The hand washing sink did not have hot water, plus it was blocked and inaccessible.

In relation, Wiard observed an employee inadequately washing his hands, so he did some on-the-spot training in that area.

In addition, the three-compartment sink was leaking and dishware was inadequately sanitized. Wiard said washing all of the residue off and using a degreaser is extremely important.

Another violation was the presence of a dog inside the restaurant. Wiard said animals are not allowed in restaurants or bars with the exception of service animals. Even these animals must follow certain guidelines.

He added the cutting boards, which are food contact surfaces, were also deeply grooved and discolored. Such grooves get hard to clean after so long and can result in growth of pathogenic microorganisms. He said even if the boards appear clean, the discoloration can indicate bacteria buildup.

Other violations include the hand sink being too close to the dishware washing area and food storage with no splash guard. Repairs are also needed for the floor.

Pel’ Meni will be re-inspected today.

The public can search the latest health records for food establishments at

• Contact reporter Jonathan Grass at 523-2276 or at


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