Dirty Dining: Beachfront restaurant had sewage leaks, rodents, roaches and stop sales in last year

ST. PETE BEACH, Fla. - PCI Bar and Grill inside the Postcard Inn Hotel has some big fans.

"It was amazing!" said Alicia Fish, just after eating at the St. Pete Beach restaurant.

"I had a fantastic salmon sandwich," said Dennis Reed, another customer. "It was the special of the day. It was awesome, awesome!"

Not so awesome? The recent food safety inspections from the Division of Hotels and Restaurants.

This prime beachfront location had unwelcome visitors that included rodents.

According to a Feb. 5 inspection report, inspectors found dozens of rodent droppings all over the dry storage area and near the bar and produce cooler.

Also not pleasing to the pallet? Inspectors saw sewage backing up through the floor drains with employees tracking the waste water throughout the restaurant.

And just a week before that, PCI had to throw out several gallons of cheese sauce and chili because they could have made customers sick.

This after the restaurant faced two other stop sales in 2013 for improper food temperatures and moldy potatoes.

Hotel General Manager Paul Herbert says he was actually hired in June to turn the place around.

"We have replaced the food and beverage director, and we made a lot of changes to the operation to improve the safety of the food and the quality of the food to make sure our guests have a good experience," Herbert explained.

And it's a big undertaking. Inspectors found more than 120 violations over the last year, including more rodent activity and live roaches.

"We take this all very seriously. We're trying to make the changes and make the improvements. And we're always trying to learn and make the place a better establishment," Herbert added.

And it might be working. Both Dennis and Alicia are coming back.

"Absolutely! I come back all the time," Dennis said.

"This is somewhere I would go back to definitely!" Alicia said with a smile.


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PCI BAR AND GRILL STATEMENT:
PCI Bar and Grill and the Postcard Inn recognize the value of our customers. We want all to encounter the beauty and serenity that is St. Pete Beach. In the past year, our ownership has invested over 1.5 million in improvements to the property and restaurant space. Of note, we have also changed management in both our Food and Beverage Director, and General Manager to continue the amelioration of the overall guest experience at Postcard Inn. The recent violations referenced in the report have been corrected, without a shut down or failure of inspection. We are proud that we passed our most recent health inspection and we will endeavor to keep-up the good work and standards that are expected of our restaurant so our diners can have a safe, clean, and wonderful experience every time.

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