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Harvest's closure comes in the midst of a real estate battle between Penn and Fresh Grocer across the street.

Credit: Luke Chen , Luke Chen

Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar on 40th and Walnut streets was asked to cease operations due to serious health violations after an inspection on March 18.

“We take health inspections and cleanliness very seriously,” Restaurant Manager David Montague said. “Everything listed there we did address and will continue to address moving forward and always.”

The restaurant received 22 violations, eight of which were labeled serious by the Philadelphia Health Department, including evidence of pest activity and sewage backup. Montague attributes the violations to a drainage issue.

“It was a freak incident that really can happen to any restaurant,” Montague said. “We did work to fix the issue immediately even before the health inspector was involved.”

The duration of the restaurant’s closure is unclear. Although the health inspection report says that the restaurant management agreed to close voluntarily until the violations were corrected, Montague was vague about how long the restaurant would stop serving food.

“The health inspector came through and we addressed the issues and we were open on that day,” Montague said.

When asked for clarification on whether or not the restaurant had to close, Montague responded, “We did not close that day, no.”

In the past, restaurants that have failed inspections have been able to remain open with few consequences. According to a recent article on health violations, this is no longer the case since the health department has been cracking down on restaurants that refuse to close voluntarily or disregard a cease-and-desist order. Such restaurants receive stickers on their front doors and police visits.

Since Harvest closed voluntarily, it did not face these consequences. Currently, the restaurant is open and has been cleared to serve food.

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