ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The tables were empty and the unused chairs stacked up. Customers arriving for lunch were politely turned away by employees from Ceviche Tapas Bar and Restaurant after a state inspector ordered the business closed late Monday.
Ceviche had violations ranging from temperature control issues on meat, to more than two dozen live roaches found near food preparation.
"We were very disappointed. We had some refrigeration issues; turned out it was a piece of saran-wrap that was wrapped around a coil that we fixed quickly and that led to some other things that the inspector found. We took it very seriously," said Ceviche Senior Managing Partner Jim Snyder.
The inspection report from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation stated that more than 25 live roaches were found.
"There was a conduit, electrical conduit pipe, that she actually found some resting in there, and it was a nest," Snyder explained.
Some customers that have eaten at Ceviche say they won't go back after hearing the news.
"That really turns me off. I wouldn't be too happy about going back there after hearing that quite frankly," said Phyllis Green of St. Pete.
After passing a re-inspection Tuesday morning, Ceviche is now permitted to reopen their doors.
"We took it very seriously. We've taken care of it. They found 100% compliance at this point and we're ready to open our restaurant," said Snyder.
Some patrons, like Jason Grimes, say the closure won't won't deter them.
"I've had great experiences there every time I've been there so I'll give them a second chance," he said.
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