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A brief closure: Friar Tuck’s hit with code violation

“We are open,” Friar Tuck’s owner Ken Paige said on Friday. “We just had to do some cleaning up.”

This came after visitors hoping to dine at Friar Tuck’s restaurant in Nevada City Thursday were greeted by a sign on the door stating that the longtime eatery had been closed by order of the Nevada County Environmental Health Department.

The restaurant was in violation, specifically, of safety code 114259 and was ordered to immediately cease selling or preparing food for sale at the location in accordance with California Health and Safety code, section 114409.

“(The inspectors) came around noon,” Paige continued. “We looked at stuff and we agreed there was stuff that needed to be done.”

Paige added that a staff of about 20 people helped Thursday night in readying the restaurant and preparing to reopen; the group even made it into a party, ordering pizza and getting down to work.

“We are really glad it happened,” added Paige. “We always go above and beyond.”

He said it was a chance to do a deep cleaning of the space, and was grateful for the help of his staff.

Amy Irani, of Nevada County Environmental Health, said that the inspection was routine, but that the department had also received a customer complaint.

Upon review of the inspection form, it was written that rat feces had been observed in trays and on floors of the kitchen, on canned food and in the wine area. It was also noted that the restaurant maintains weekly pest control efforts.

The form stated that ultimately the “food facility shall be vermin-proof” and that holes must be sealed and all dishware, glassware, utensils, counter tops, and cutting boards must be cleaned and sanitized.


Irani said that vermin infestations are not necessarily rare, and that there are a number of violations that would cause any restaurant to be closed, if only temporarily.

Those include “raw sewage backing up, lack of hot water, lack of electricity, or rodent or vermin will cause immediate shut down. Sometimes they will have a process and they correct it on site marked on inspection form. You can’t always correct those right away, so we shut them down.”

The key solution, she said, is to maintain “active managerial control.”

“It means if you start with a clean cell, you’re getting in the nooks and crannies and you make it a habit and you don’t have build up. When you’re done with something, clean it up,” said Irani.

Ideally, she added, the county could partner with an outside entity to help business owners better understand the unique precautions that must me taken in a town with older buildings, especially one that lies immediately next to a waterway.

“I have reverent respect for those in the restaurant business,” added Irani. “It’s a grueling job. We are truly there to help.”

Jennifer Nobles is a staff writer with The Union. She can be reached at jnobles@theunion.com



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