Melissa and Ahmed Ramy Salem were forced to temporarily close their Taste of Times Square restaurant on Tuesday, and Melissa Salem says she wants to make it clear what the closure isn’t about:
“It’s not our food!” she says.
The Metropolitan Area Building and Construction Department, acting on a complaint about a leaking roof and sagging floor, determined that the restaurant in the former Dyne Quik space at 11th and Broadway is unsafe.
“Well, basically the building is having some structural issues, and so it’s not a safe structure to work in and potentially for clients to be in,” says Richard Meier, the MABCD’s chief building inspector.
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Meier says drainage issues and excessive moisture are causing issues with the wood frame under the floor, which is rotting.
Salem says even before learning of the structural problem, she and her husband were planning a move to the Petroleum Building on Broadway just south of Douglas because of issues at the building they’ve been leasing.
“It’s a very old structure,” she says.
The restaurant is one of the city’s few remaining Valentine buildings - metal, mobile diners that Wichita’s Valentine Manufacturing built between 1938 and 1971.
The Salems, who met each other in Times Square several years ago when Ahmed Ramy Salem was working at Ray’s Pizza there, opened their restaurant at 13th and Grove last year and moved to the former Dyne Quik space earlier this year.
Melissa Salem says they expect to open in the Petroleum Building next month and will let us know the date closer to the time.