After the Epic Hotel's specially installed filtration system removed most of the chlorine from city water, three guests fell ill from Legionnaires' disease and the hotel has been temporarily closed. That means the award-winning seafood restaurant Area 31 is as off-limits as Area 51 until things get back to normal. Nobody is answering the restaurant phone, but workers at the hotel said it would be closed indefinitely -- until city workers could come in and check things.
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It was also just reported that one of the hotel guests who contracted Legionnaires' died -- in September! Yet this was not noted by our daily paper of record or by the evening news. Guess nobody wanted to hurt the tourist trade.
Ironically, the hotel installed the filtration system in order to enhance the quality of the drinking water, and Area 31 takes its name and sources much of its product from Fishing Area 31, a clean, ecologically sustainable swath of Western Central Atlantic Ocean.
Area 31 opened to rave reviews and garnered notice as one of Esquire's Best New Restaurants of the Year.