FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – After a rash of restaurant closures due to “pest issues,” a manager of one of the restaurants is speaking out. Asakusa on Lima Road was temporarily forced to close Monday by the Allen County-Fort Wayne Health Department due to “pest issues.” Since they reopened Tuesday morning, business has been slow.
Assistant Manager of Asakusa Brittany Pape spoke on behalf of the owner Michelle Chang. Pape and Chang gave NewsChannel 15’s Megan Reust an exclusive look at their restaurant and kitchen.
If you’ve been to the health inspection photo gallery on wane.com, chances are you’ve seen this photo from Asakusa of trash under a cabinent. Now, all of that has been cleaned out, and they installed a new panel to prevent debris from collecting there. Assistant Manager Brittany Pape said their main concern was addressing where the cockroaches were coming from. Apparently she said there were cracks in the building where they were coming in. Now those have been filled in. And all of the grease grime under the fryer has been cleaned up too.
“We basically just wanted to let customers know that just because we were closed doesn’t mean we’re a bad restaurant,” Pape said, ” I think a lot of our regular customers are coming back. You know, we’ve been coming here for 15 years, we know the kind of food you serve. They know we hold ourselves to high standards and that they trust in us we wouldn’t be reopened or serving them food in conditions that were not in held to high standards.”
Pape told NewsChannel 15 they won’t let this happen again there at the Lima Road store or at their new location on West Jefferson.
Photo Gallery | Asakusa on Lima Rd.
NewsChannel 15 also reached out to Red Rok and The Rib Room to see if the owners would be interested in showing the public their kitchen’s. Red Rok and The Rib Room could not make time for our cameras.
So far, 12 out of 1600 restaurants in Allen County have been forced to temporarily close due to pest issues.
See also | Health Dept. releases inspection photos
The following is an excerpt from a document the Health Department posted on its website:
Are inspection reports public records?
Yes. By state law, a food establishment inspection report is a public record. This is why the Department of Health will provide copies of an inspection report upon request and why it publishes a summary of inspection results on its website.
What about the photos from the restaurant inspections that appeared on WANE-TV NewsChannel 15’s website? How did they get them?
The Department of Health did not release these photos to the media unprompted. We received a records request for the pictures from a news reporter with WANE-TV NewsChannel 15 and were obliged to comply with the request as these pictures are considered part of the inspection report, which is a public record.
John Silcox, Director of Communications for the Health Department released the following list of restaurants closed in 2014:
- Tilted Kilt of Fort Wayne – closed 1/25/14 due to extended interruption in hot water service.
- Golden Wok – closed 1/29/14 due to no water service at facility.
- The Mandarin – closed 1/29/14 due to cockroaches.
- Red Rok Saloon – closed 2/6/14 due to rodents.
- Apollo Coventry Cinemas – closed 2/11/14 due to rodents.
- Atz’s Ice Cream – Tillman location– closed 1/27/14 due to rodents.
- Atz’s Ice Cream – North Anthony location – closed 2/17/14 due to cockroaches.
- Naked TChopstix – closed 2/18/14 due to cockroaches.
- Lakeside Cafe – closed 2/19/14 due to cockroaches.
- Pizza by Vito’s –closed 2/20/14 due to cockroaches.
- The Rib Room – closed 2/24/14 due to cockroaches.
- Asakusa Japanese Restaurant – closed 02/24/14 due to cockroaches.
- The Mandarin – closed 2/25/14 due to cockroaches.
- Dicky’s Wild Hare – closed 2/25/14 due to cockroaches.
- China Garden on South Anthony Blvd – closed 2/26/14 due to pests
NewsChannel 15 reported on the closures of The Mandarin and Dicky’s Wild Hare on Tuesday, shortly after the Lima Road Asakusa was approved to re-open.
The Mandarin was approved to re-open on Wednesday afternoon. On Thursday afternoon, Dicky’s Wild Hare was re-opened after health inspectors approved the restaurant. China Garden remains closed.
Inspections and complaints
If you see something out of place at a restaurant, health officials ask you to let them know. File a complaint by calling their office at (260) 449-7562 or fill one out online here.
Go to the Food and Consumer Protection page of the Fort Wayne-Allen County Health Department website to see inspection results and for more information on food-related complaints.