Restaurant Report Card: Tilted Kilt, Blue Cow and DiFranco’s

Restaurant Report Card
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DENVER -- The Tilted Kilt is best known for scantily clad waitresses, but the recent health inspection may be even more revealing at the 16th Street Mall location.

The LoDo pub earned an “F” on our restaurant report card for 17 critical violations in their January 2014 and July 2013 unannounced inspections.

In January, an inspector “observed over 50 small winged flies … on the bar wall” and a “cook wiped gloved hands on visibly soiled apron, and then proceeded to handle ready to eat foods.”

Also in January, the inspector found raw eggs and cheese held at too warm of temperature and were thrown out.

The Denver Department of Environmental Health’s report also said “sanitizer concentration was undetectable” and there was no hot water in the employee’s restroom or men’s bathroom.

We requested an interview with the owner of the restaurant, but instead we received this statement: "The health department came back for a second time for an inspection and we corrected any and all issues and will continue to stay compliant to all health code regulations.”

An inspector returned to the restaurant in February and found no violations.

The Blue Cow

The Blue Cow at 316 Bear Creek Avenue in Morrison is our second “F” of the week.

Jefferson county Health inspectors cited The Blue Cow for 15 critical violations in their December and June of 2013 unannounced inspections.

During both inspections, an inspector found employees "not hand washing when required" and "observed employees changing single use gloves without washing hands in between tasks."

In December, an inspector found no hand sink in the cook line and said, “a hand sink should be installed on the cook line within the next twelve months.”

In June, an inspector found a dog in the enclosed patio area which regulations prohibit animals in restaurants.

The owner of the eatery, Charlie Nathan said, “I think somebody’s got it out for us to be honest with you.”

Nathan blames what he calls a suspicious amount of customers’ complaints to the health department for the bad inspections.

“My restaurant is open to anyone who wants to come in and observe what we are doing," Nathan said.

Nathan said his kitchen is clean.


The “A” of the week goes to DiFranco's on North Lincoln in Denver for zero violations in two unannounced inspections in a row.

Owner Ryan DiFranco credits the score to his attention to detail and good training.

“If each employee knows what’s expected of them and you hold them to a standard that doesn’t fall below that.  That’s it,” DiFranco said.

It’s that kind of attitude that will hopefully make this restaurant a lot of dough.

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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