Hurricane Irma damage forces San Marco restaurant to close

Inspectors find pests at other eateries in this week's Restaurant Report

By Crystal Chen - Assignment editor/reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - In this week's Restaurant Report, a major health hazard forced a Spring Park diner to temporarily shut down its kitchen, while damages from Hurricane Irma causes a San Marco restaurant to close its doors. 

Kitchen on San Marco announced on its Facebook page earlier this week that it was forced to close because of extensive flood damage from Hurricane Irma. Sadly, it wasn't the only business that boarded up after the hurricane. European Street Cafe was devastated by floodwaters and several other restaurants on San Marco Boulevard sustained major damage.

Kitchen on San Marco said it's working on helping staff find new jobs in the culinary industry. 

There was another closure reported this week, but it was unrelated to the hurricane.

A major health hazard forced a Spring Park diner to temporarily shut down. Momo's Restaurant in Spring Park was closed for a few hours to get rid of rodent droppings.

The restaurant on Philips Highway has been open for three years, but the current owner bought it five months ago. The owner said what inspectors found was all there before he took over. 

"It was from before. That fridge is locked. It's for Coca-Cola, so they lock it on the floor, so we cannot move the fridge. That's why," the owner said.

The fridge he referred to is located in the guest area and is bolted downed. An inspector used a flashlight to check underneath and around the fridge.

The inspector said around 30 rodent droppings were found, and over 200 more were spotted near a small cooler in the kitchen. 

Another high-priority violation was for live flies buzzing around the kitchen and food preparation area. The owner said has has asked for pest control to provide services every two months.

After the diner was swept and straightened up, the inspector allowed it to reopen the next day.

There were other restaurants that were inspected.

Tipicos Antojitos Hondurenos, a food truck based on University Boulevard in the San Souci area, topped the list with a total of 34 violations, 11 of which were major health hazards. 

According to a report, an employee failed to wash their hands before putting on any gloves.

Food can spoil if temperatures aren't regulated, so the report said several items -- such as shredded chicken, marinated steak, fish and sour cream -- were all thrown out to avoid having customers become ill. The food truck is due for a second inspection.

The Casa Marina Hotel in Jacksonville Beach failed three inspections in a row.

During the first visit last month, an inspector counted 10 flies throughout the kitchen and bar areas. During a follow-up inspection last week, more flies were found. The Casa Marina Hotel was given an extension to get rid of the bugs. But when the inspector came back the next day, flies were still buzzing around. Pest control was called and management had to deep clean the bar and kitchen. The Casa Marina Hotel was never shut down, but it is waiting for one final checkup to get the all-clear from inspectors.

In Orange Park, an inspector found flies in the kitchen and food preparation area at the Crafty Crab on Blanding Boulevard.

The manager had to do some rearranging in the cooler after raw shrimp was found over cooked crawfish. The Crafty Crab is due for a follow-up inspection.

Copyright 2017 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.