UPDATED: Hill Country Temporarily Closed for Critical Health-Code Violation

The barbecue spot says it has re-opened.

The popular Penn Quarter spot Hill Country temporarily closed due to pests. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Talk about bad timing. On the eve of one of the biggest barbecue holidays in Washington, Hill Country was temporarily closed by the District’s Department of Health. The cause: a critical violation issued during an inspection on June 25, which cites a variety of unsavory findings, including mouse droppings, fruit flies, a live cockroach in the bakery area, and a dead mouse in dry storage. 

A DOH sign was posted on the door of the Penn Quarter ’cue joint noting that it would be closed until further notice. A representative for the restaurant says that the issue has been addressed, and that Hill Country would reopen at 1. An official statement is expected soon. We’ll update this post as we learn more. 

Update (1:40 PM): A representative for the restaurant gave Best Bites this statement: “Hill Country DC was temporarily closed by the Department of Health on Tuesday, July 2, 2014. We have a rigorous maintenance and extermination policy in place to ensure the health and well-being of our guests and staff. We have worked closely with department officials over the last 24 hours, and we reopened for business today, July 3rd, at 1:00pm. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused our guests.”

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.