Restaurant Report Card: Capitol Hill bar earns ‘F’

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DENVER -- Charlie’s Bar in Capitol Hill welcomes customers from all walks of life, but health inspectors found some patrons were crawling into the bar.

The Denver bar earned an “F” on the restaurant report card for 10 critical violations in its February of 2013 and 2014 unannounced inspections.

The bar located at 900 E. Colfax Ave. was cited this year for “20 dead roaches and one roach … alive in (the) basement storage” and “several areas … where a large amount of rodent droppings were observed.”

In February 2013 an inspector found “Numerous small flying insects … in bottles of Vermouth, Wild Turkey and Highland Park whisky.”

Also, there was food and debris accumulation on the soda guns, refrigerators, ice machine, floors, walls and shelves.

Fox31 Denver called Charlie’s repeatedly, but the owner refused to comment.

Fox31 Denver’s Heidi Hemmat went to the bar to ask about the violations. Hemmat said, “We just wanted to ask about the health inspections.” An employee said, “You need to turn that off (the camera). This is private property and you cannot be here.”

Las Delicias in Littleton is our second “F” of the week on restaurant report card.

The restaurant located at 92 E. Arapahoe Rd. was cited for 12 critical violations in August 2013 and January of this year.

In January, inspectors found “rodent droppings were present in the electrical room and the dry goods room.” Also during the January routine inspection, inspectors found “Raw beef was stored above Spanish rice and vegetables” and “an employee … was observed not washing their hands for at least 20 seconds."

In both inspections the health expert found food being held at unsafe temperatures.

Manager Freddy Martinez said, “I apologize that we couldn’t keep up to the standards that the Colorado Department of Health has for restaurant establishments. We are going to keep striving every day to make sure all of our restaurant and every corner of our restaurant is nice and clean.”

Martinez is using the poor inspections as a training tool. He is watching the restaurant’s security cameras to make sure employees are washing their hands correctly. Las Delicias passed a follow up inspection on January 31, 2014.

The “A” of the week goes to Anthony’s Pizza and Pasta in Golden for no violations in its last two inspections. Owner Amy D’Amico credits her staff for doing their part and pounding out a perfect grade. “Nobody wants to eat in a dirty restaurant and we just stay on top of it and keep it clean.” D’Amico said.

How Restaurants Appear on our Report Card

Restaurant Report Card features health inspections in the city and county of Denver, Jefferson county and Tri-county restaurants. The Tri-county health department includes Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties.

An inspection is a “snapshot” of what is happening during the day and time of the inspection. On any given day, a restaurant could have more or fewer violations than noted in an inspection.  Also, at the time of an inspection, violations are recorded and can be corrected prior to the inspector leaving the restaurant. If violations are not corrected, a follow-up inspection is scheduled.

The criteria FOX31 uses to give a restaurant a failing grade includes the evaluation of two unannounced inspections by county health inspectors. A failing restaurant must have 5 critical violations on their most recent regular inspection and 5 critical violations on the previous regular inspection. Health inspectors may conduct critical or follow up inspections, due to the number of critical violations found during a regular inspection. Those inspections may also be considered for our reports. If a health department does not conduct routine investigations in a timely manner, a restaurant with 10 or more critical violations during a routine inspection may be considered for our report. We recognize restaurants with two perfect regular inspections in a row by awarding them an A.

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