New York City Restaurants to Face Review for Disabilities Act Compliance

More than 50 of the most popular New York restaurants, including Gramercy Tavern and Le Bernardin, will be reviewed to determine if they are complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for Manhattan, said in an e-mailed statement that his office will inspect New York City restaurants voted “most popular” in the 2011 Zagat guide.

“In New York city, arguably the restaurant capital of the world, no one should be unfairly deprived of the opportunity to enjoy the City’s world class dining offerings, and we will take all reasonable legal steps to make sure they are not,” Bharara said.

Spokesmen for Union Square Hospitality Group, which owns Gramercy Tavern and other Manhattan restaurants, and Le Bernardin didn’t immediately return phone calls seeking comment on the review.

If inspectors discover violations, the establishment will be asked to enter a voluntary compliance agreement, under which it promises to upgrade its facilities, according to the statement. If the restaurant refuses to enter an agreement or if it fails to make improvements, it could face legal action by the civil-rights unit of the U.S. Attorney’s office, according to the statement. The restaurant initiative follows a review of more than 50 Manhattan hotels that resulted in 33 voluntary compliance agreements, Bharara said.

Union Square Cafe, Daniel and Nobu are among the restaurants listed by Zagat on its website as most popular in Manhattan.

To contact the reporter on this story: Cullen Wheatley in Manhattan federal court at cwheatley2@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.

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