The city on Wednesday shut down Star Island, a Chinese restaurant on Blue Hill Avenue, after inspectors said they found rodent infestations, large amounts of trash, and a grease-laden kitchen vent that had become a dangerous fire hazard.
“It was an unkempt facility, to say the least,” said Darryl Smith, an assistant commissioner for the city's Inspectional Services Department.
The restaurant, at 375 Blue Hill Ave., near where the Roxbury and Dorchester meet, is owned by Blue Island Inc., a company formed four years ago and owned by Hao Yang, state records show.
The owners could not be reached for comment Thursday morning.
During their inspection Wednesday, city officials said they found heavy infestations of mice and roaches inside and rats outside of the restaurant, and a heavy accumulation of garbage and other debris.
And, inside the kitchen, “We could just see grease pouring out of their vent. They hadn’t cleaned it,” Smith said. “It was just disgusting. This really could have set the whole building on fire”
A fire in West Roxbury restaurant in 2007 was fueled by grease buildup in a kitchen exhaust pipe. The blaze killed two firefighters, injured several others and destroyed adjoining businesses. The city and state have since enacted tough regulations for commercial kitchen grease cleaners.
Smith said the restaurant will be allowed to reopen if and when the violations are remedied and pass inspection from city and fire department officials. The owner will need to go to a hearing before the city will lift the suspension placed on the restaurant’s license.
On Thursday morning, Smith that he was on his way back to the restaurant because its owners told the city they planned to have a company come to start cleaning up the location.
“We are committed to making sure people who dine in Boston have the safest and most enjoyable experience possible,” Mayor Thomas M. Menino said in a statement. “Our Neighborhood Response Teams, fire department and inspectional services remain vigilant as we work to ensure public safety throughout the city.”