BRADENTON -- A popular Bradenton sports pub was forced to shut its doors Monday after a health inspector found 57 rodent droppings, but has already addressed the problem and reopened Tuesday morning.
Mannatees Sports Grill, 7423 Manatee Ave., was shut down around 3 p.m. Monday after an inspector with the Florida Division of Hotels and Restaurants found 57 dry and fresh rodent droppings plus a live roach during the visit, according to the inspection report. The bar reopened to the public Tuesday following a required follow-up inspection.
The restaurant received four high-priority violations, two intermediate violations and three basic violations during the inspection.
The droppings were found on a storage rack for utensils, food storage equipment, boxes of cornstarch, a storage rack holding deli paper, utensils, portioning bags, a can storage rack, soda syrup boxes and sugar packets -- all areas that could come in contact with food being prepared, according to the inspection. The inspector also found a live roach crawling from the microwave to under the steam table along the cookline.
"We spent the entire night tearing everything down so they couldn't say we didn't do what we needed to do," co-owner Bart Mann said. "It's all clean."
Mann blamed the rodent problem on Albertson's closing, saying the rodents who would occupy that space are now coming to his restaurant by the back door and through the ceiling. A pest control company was scheduled to visit the bar Tuesday to permanently address the rodent issue, Mann said, to block off breaches in the wall.
The inspection report noted employees began to clean floors and storage racks at the time of inspection.
"We work hard at keeping it clean," Mann said. "When you have a back area, and
it is what it is. I'm no different than any kitchen in town. You can walk in any kitchen in town, and you'll find the same thing. My guy had the hose in his hand, and she walked in when he was cleaning."
Other high-priority violations included employee touching food without gloves. The inspector observed an employee touching ready-to-eat food with bare hands. The food was not going to be heated to temperature for bare hands to be allowed. The bar did not have an approved alternative procedure to address those situations, according to the report. An employee also handled toasted bread buns and lettuce without gloves, according to the report. "There is nothing to fear. If anyone fears anything, I have no problem, you can go walk through my kitchen," Mann said. "It's spic-and-span."
The bar also had a bottle of glass cleaner stored next to food on a shelf on the cookline, according to the inspection, which is another high-priority violation.
An inspector in January found rodent droppings and that the bar had an expired license along with mold building up in the ice machine. A follow-up inspection the following day found the bar met inspection standards save for standing water on the floor from a slow drain.
The bar met inspection standards on three other visits in 2013 and 2012, and had 10 critical violations during a June 2012 visit where no proof of required employee training was provided along with other food handling violations.
Mannatees opened in the summer of 2012, taking over the former Tequila Beach Sport Grille.
Restaurant health inspections, required three times a year, are unannounced to the owners. Health inspectors also must re-inspect a restaurant that was shut down before reopening.
The bar received approval to open at 9 a.m. Tuesday and opened to the public at 11:30 a.m.
Charles Schelle, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter @ImYourChuck.