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Pests lead to trifecta of restaurant closures

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. –  A trifecta of restaurant closures this week. One restaurant was cited for rodent activity - while the other two had roach problems. The inspectors felt all three needed to close temporarily to get a hold on their pest problems.

The first on our Restaurant Report Card is Hill Top Club in Orange Park located on Wells Road. It received two high-priority violations during a routine inspection. According to the report, more than 50 wet and dry rodent droppings were found in the restaurant. The inspector discovered some were under the dish washing machine... under the triple sink and in the bakery area.

An administrative complaint was immediately filed and the restaurant was forced to close temporarily. The inspector returned later that day and found that rodent activity was still present after finding more than a dozen wet and dry droppings in the kitchen and bakery area. The restaurant was also cited for an expired license. After a third follow-up, Hill Top Club restaurant was allowed to reopen with zero violations.

Another restaurant that missed the mark is Philly Connection located on 6001 Argyle Forest Boulevard in Jacksonville with one high-priority violation. According the report, during a routine inspection last week, eight live roaches were discovered on the fire extinguisher across from the cook line. Several dead roaches were also seen on the microwave and on the floor by the prep table. During the inspection a manager and employee killed all of the roaches - but inspectors still temporarily closed the restaurant until they had a pest control visit. Philly Connection was able to reopen the next morning and received zero violations during a follow-up visit. I spoke to an employee who says they receive monthly pest control visits and the problem has been fixed.

Last on our Restaurant Report Card is a Chinese buffet in Jacksonville Beach on Beach Boulevard that had a bug problem.

Problems with roaches forced food inspectors to temporarily close Beaches Super Buffet.

But when inspectors showed up for a follow up, the owner was nowhere to be found.
The Department of Business and Professional Regulation said it only temporarily closed the restaurant to give them a chance to fix the issue - and did not make the decision to permanently close the business.

Beaches Super Buffet, located on Beach Boulevard, made our Restaurant Report Card after receiving 17 violations during a routine inspection. Two of those were high-priority.

According to the report, the inspector found 20 live roaches in empty egg cartons, in the kitchen under the prep table. Another live roach was found on the door of the walk-in cooler.

Beaches Super Buffet was also cited for not storing raw food properly. The report goes on to say that raw chicken was stored over beef in the walk-in freezer.

Due to the roach problem, the inspector temporarily shut down the restaurant until the issue was resolved. When the inspector came back to follow-up, no one was at the restaurant and a sign was posted on the door stating that the restaurant was closed"

I went to the restaurant for answers and no one was there, I even tried to call the owner and have not heard back. I contacted the Florida Department of Business and Regulation to find out why the business was permanently closed. The inspector e-mailed me the follow-up report that stated that she "contacted the [owner] by phone and he stated his intent is to permanently close the business. The license was closed on July 10th 20-15."

Beaches Super Buffet's license was valid through 20-16. Inspectors said they were not given a specific reason as to why the owner decided to close his business for good.