Board of Health ordered Gourmet Garden shut down for however long it would take management to clean the place up and get rid of the cockroaches.
FALMOUTH Anyone with a hankering for Chinese, Japanese or Thai cuisine wont be able to satisfy it at a well-known restaurant on Main Street in Falmouth.
On Tuesday, the Board of Health ordered Gourmet Garden shut down for however long it would take management to clean the place up and get rid of the cockroaches.
Owner-manager Annie Shang tacked a sign on the door Wednesday saying the restaurant had closed for yearly maintenance.Shang told the Times early Wednesday afternoon that she expected to be able to open Thursday, but that wont happen.
The towns assistant health agent Mallory Langler went to the restaurant at 3 p.m. Wednesday to conduct an inspection but didnt go forward with it because it was clear the restaurant wasnt going to meet minimum requirements, she said.
Shang did not return a call from the Times after Langler left the restaurant.
During its meeting Tuesday, the board decided to close Gourmet Garden until the owner had contracts with a certified consultant on how to maintain restaurant standards or a ServSafe representative to train staff in their native language. The restaurant was also required to update the contract with its pest control service to weekly treatments and has to pass a Board of Health inspection.
I think if the place was immaculate, we'd be having a different conversation,board member Diana Molloy said. This is something within your control.
Gourmet Garden was opened by Shang in September.
We first started talking about it at the end of April, and the health agent has been back a number of times,board member John Waterbury said Wednesday. We thought we had things under control, but then they slipped.
An April 20 complaint from a customer who was seated at one of the hibachi grills and saw a roach crawl out from the grill side of the countertriggered the focus on Gourmet Garden, Langler said.
Our inspection found lots of cleanliness issues and a chronic cockroach infestation, Langler said. If you have a very clean area, theres not much to keep them there.
Gourmet Garden was given 72 hours to correct violations. It was cleaned up sufficiently to avoid an ordered closure after the April complaint.
According to the written report provided to the Board of Health on Tuesday, the April inspection, even after the cleanup, still revealed some problems that needed addressing.
There was still uncovered food in the prep fridge and broken floor tiles that needed to be fixed, the report said. Nymph/young cockroaches were seen in the basement.
Health agents periodically returned over the next few months. A recent inspection turned up the same old problems.
There was an inspection on June 21, and they were found to have declined again, Langler said. There are closed indefinitely until they can satisfy the requirements set by the Board of Health. It could be a day or as long as it takes. Its up to them.
Langler conducted the June 21 inspection.
Cleanliness in the restaurant has declined again, she wrote in her report.There is visible food waste and oil throughout the kitchen and basement.
There were German cockroaches seen throughout the kitchen and basement, and multiple code violations throughout the restaurant, Langler wrote.
In addition to the restaurant, the building houses apartments. In their report to the Board of Health, department personnel wrote that they were told by the owner there had been continuous push-back from some tenants and the landlord regarding access by exterminators to the rental units.
Without access to these areas and proper consistent cleanliness in the restaurant, the issue will never go away, according to the report.
Follow Christine Legere on Twitter: @ChrisLegereCCT.
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