Hawkers bugged by fruit flies, reopening after emergency closure


NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. – Fruit flies found at Hawkers in Neptune Beach created a lot of buzz on social media.

The normally bustling Asian restaurant was ordered to shut down Tuesday evening after restaurant inspectors found several critical violations.

A bright orange notice on Hawkers' front door read: "This establishment is closed to protect public health and safety." 

According to the Department of Business and Professional Regulations, the restaurant had flies throughout the kitchen and bar area. A repeat violation was issued for potentially hazardous food stored at the wrong temperature. And a high-priority violation was cited when an employee didn't wash their hands before putting on gloves to make steak skewers.

READ MORE: Hawkers Neptune Beach Inspection Report

News4Jax reached out to the restaurant for comment but has not yet received a response. The restaurant's Facebook page said the recent heavy rains and flooding in the area caused an increase in fruit flies. 

"We have been working diligently with the DBPR, along with various third-party pest control services and professional cleaning crews to guarantee that the restaurant is held to the highest standard before reopening," the Hawkers Facebook post said.

Hey everyone, Hawkers Neptune Beach, here. 👋 While we have been thoroughly impressed by some of the super creative...

Posted by Hawkers Neptune on Wednesday, October 9, 2019

State records show the restaurant is now in compliance and approved to reopen. The restaurant will be back in business Thursday at 11 a.m.

Hawkers describes its menu as Asian street food. Its second location is in Five Points.

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