JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Roach infestations tainted two restaurants, forcing closures in this week's Restaurant Report.
It was during a visit to Ocala at a Thai restaurant when an inspector made the discovery. Royal Orchid Thai Cuisine on College Road got the order to close last Friday.
The inspector spotted more than 125 dead roaches on a dish shelf. More were found on a sink near the back door, on top of the hot water tank, and on top of the dish washer. Eleven live roaches were also crawling around on a dish shelf. This is a high priority violation because live roaches can carry bacteria that can cause food poisoning. The inspector did re-visit the restaurant the next day. More dead and live roaches were found during that follow up inspection. The restaurant has not yet been cleared to reopen.
This is their first failed inspection since 2015 when they were also shut down for the same roach problem.
Traveling up to Lake City, Popeyes Chicken on N.W. Main Boulevard had to close for about three hours because they didn't have restrooms available during a remodel. Even though the closure isn't related to food it is a violation of state requirements. A repairman arrived that same day. After a simple fix, Popeyes Chicken reopened later that afternoon.
A recent problem with more than 20 roaches shut down Seafood Kitchen in Atlantic Beach for the day.
The owner told News4Jax a building makeover caused the bugs to scurry out from a rotten wall.
The restaurant is in an old strip mall on Atlantic Boulevard, and the owner said the condition of the aged building is the root of the problem.
From a broken sign to stripped columns and faded paint, Seafood Kitchen is undergoing big changes and brought some unwanted pests along for the ride.
"The building is over 70 years old. I definitely wanted to tear everything out and get a fresh start," owner Nathan Stuart said.
Stuart is on a mission to get out with the old and in with the new, but it's been a bumpy ride, and it hasn't been pretty.
More than 20 roaches were spotted by a health inspector last week in the prep area, on the floor and under the tables. Stuart wasn't at the restaurant when News4Jax stopped by on Tuesday, but over the phone, he opened up about the failed inspection.
"We found the problem because we're remodeling the restaurant and ripping out everything and replacing it with new," Stuart said. "So if I wasn't remodeling, I wouldn't have found the problem."
Stuart has hired an additional pest control company to attack any future problems. During Friday's closure, a rotten wall where the roaches originated was also torn down.
Seafood Kitchen was bug-free by the next day and allowed to reopen just in time for the weekend.
Stuart is hoping the restaurant makeover will be complete before the new year.