* Update: The Lunchbox Labratory has since reopened, according to restaurant officials.
King County Public Health closed Lunchbox Laboratory in Bellevue on Feb. 14 due to the restaurant’s lack of hot water.
Located at 989 112th Ave. NE Ste. 105, Lunchbox Laboratory is known for its sandwiches, burgers and “weekly experiments.”
Announced on Feb. 15, Public Health officials said the establishment will be reopened once the inspector confirms that this issue has been resolved.
Public Health determined the Bellevue Lunchbox Laboratory “Needs to Improve” its health and safety practices from a rating system that is based on inspections from the last four routine visits (dating back to 2015). The “Needs to Improve” rating is the worst rating for a restaurant.
However, a restaurant official blames a plumbing issue on the closure.
“This last week our hot water tank caught on fire and the replacement one blew out due to being wired wrong,” Jo Ann Poulias Schmidt, Lunchbox Laboratory’s director of operations, said in an email. “We had plumbers assure us that it was working fine but when the health board came out, the sink in the kitchen didn’t have any hot water. We were shut down because of this and have to have the ‘needs improvement’ rating on our doors for a year because it is a rule and has nothing to do with our last 4 visits. Our rating was good before this which is great for a restaurant with high volume.”
For more information, visit King County’s list of food establishment closures.