After 3-day shutdown, spruced-up Line Clear reopens doors

AUDREY DERMAWAN

GEORGE TOWN: Three days after being forced close by the Penang Health Department over serious hygiene concerns, the renowned Line Clear Restaurant here reopened its doors to loyal customers and visitors today.

The nasi kandar outlet – a virtual institution here – also apologised for the lapse in cleanliness, and vowed that it will not allow such a thing to recur.

Jumah Bee Kalanda Mastan, daughter of original restaurant owner Pathumah Iskandar, said they will put the negative episode behind them and move forward.

However, unlike the large crowds which used to patronise the eatery prior to the shutdown and ensuing controversy (lines for seats were so long, they would snake from the eatery to the main Penang Road), today’s crowd was significantly smaller.

Abdul Kader Jainul Abidin, 43, another relative of Pathumah, said at this time last week, they had their hands full serving long lines of customers.

"It may take some time for our business to return to normal. We will wait.

"However, we want to assure our customers that we will never compromise on the safety of our food and cleanliness of our restaurant," he said when met after Friday prayers.

The 70-year-old popular restaurant was ordered closed for two-weeks by the Health authorities on Monday after rat droppings and carcasses of rats and cockroaches were found in the outlet’s storeroom. The toilet was also found to be filthy.

A massive clean-up exercise was subsequently conducted to spruce up the outlet.

Yesterday, health authorities lifted the shutdown order following a re-inspection of the restaurant premises.

In addition to Line Clear, its equally-famous neighbour, Yasmeen Nasi Kandar Restaurant, was also served with a two-week shutdown notice over hygiene concerns.

Yasmeen has yet to resume business.

To celebrate its re-opening, Line Clear offered free syrup drinks to all its customers.