Roaches, kitchen cleanliness problems bring ‘F’s’ to 2 Denver restaurants

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DENVER — The FOX31 Problem Solvers dig deep each week to see how metro Denver restaurants are doing on their health inspections.

Damascus Restaurant

The Middle Eastern grill failed the report card with 18 critical health code violations in March and September inspections.

An inspector reported problems including:

  • Excessive buildup of grease, grime and food debris in coolers and the microwave
  • Employee eating over a cutting board
  • No soap at sinks

The restaurant management did not return phone calls.

"I can't answer any questions," an employee said at the restaurant.

Damascus failed a follow -up inspection in May with nine critical violations. It is at 2276 S. Colorado Blvd. in Denver.

Mali Thai Cuisine

The restaurant was cited for 10 critical violations during an inspection in April.

The violations included:

  • Live and dead cockroaches
  • Bags of raw chicken and fish not held at cold enough temperatures ... they were thrown away
  • Raw pork and carrots stored on the floor

"'I know the inspector found some roaches, live ones and dead ones." the owner was asked. "Have you guys done anything to correct that?"

"Oh yeah, I think they bombed the kitchen," an employee said.

An inspector returned in May and found no violations.

Mali Thai is at 4955 S. Ulster St. in Denver.

3 Sons Italian Restaurant and Bar

The "A" of the week goes to 3 Sons Italian Restaurant and Bar in Arvada for two perfect health department inspections in a row.

Management at 3 Sons said it takes a routine to get it right.

"'It's a team effort, it takes everybody working together to make sure we are on top of stuff," general manager Anna Schafer said. "It's easy because we maintain.

"The hardest part is when you let things go. And I think that was the main thing when we came in, my family always wanted to maintain cleanliness in the restaurant."

What does it mean to get this recognition?

"I was ecstatic, it was great. And I'm really happy there is going to be people who can see what we have to offer here," Schafer said.

3 Sons is at 14805 W. 64th Ave. in Arvada.

How restaurants appear on our Report Card

Restaurant Report Card features health inspections in the city and county of Denver, Jefferson County, Weld County and restaurants under the jurisdiction of the Tri-County Health Department. 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 used to give a restaurant a failing grade includes the evaluation of two unannounced inspections by county health inspectors. A failing restaurant must have five critical violations on their most recent regular inspection and five critical violations on the previous regular inspection. The restaurant may also fail for ten or more violations in one 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. We recognize restaurants with two perfect regular inspections in a row by awarding them an A.

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