Options for a sit-down meal in a restaurant are thinning in the Foster Brook area, specifically along Bolivar Drive.
The Lighthouse Restaurant on Bolivar Drive is closed until further notice. Signs in the windows indicate a change of ownership, which refers to the building itself.
The new co-owners of the building received the keys Thursday. Kelly Laird is the previous owner who operated The Lighthouse Restaurant within the building. No phone number could be found to contact him. The restaurant’s phone line was disconnected.
“I feel bad for the employees that had no notice,” Sis Laird, one of the new owners of the building, said when approached at the location. “They showed up (Thursday) and had no notice (they didn’t have a job).”
Due to the recent change of hands, there is no information available on what is next for the location.
This leaves two parking lots that once were regularly filled with cars during the dinner hour on any given day, sitting empty. Perkins, located across the street, has been closed since September 2019.
Prior to an inspection Jan. 16, which was favorable, a string of inspections by the Pennsylvania Department of Health are on record for The Lighthouse Restaurant. These repeated inspections stemmed from an inspection Oct. 28, 2019 that found 13 violations, including:
- The Person in Charge does not have adequate knowledge of food safety in this food facility as evidenced by this non-compliant inspection.
- Several reach-in freezers have a heavy frost build up, which is accumulating on the food stored within, which could be a source of potential contamination. Freezers need defrosted on a more frequent basis.
- Pans of food stored in standing water in the bottom of the prep unit at the grill. The bottoms of the pans must be wiped with sanitizer and unit must be cleaned/sanitized and kept dry. Pans cannot be stored in standing water at any time.
- Non-food contact surfaces not cleaned at a frequency to preclude accumulation of dirt and soil. The sides and underneath of several grills have a heavy build up of grease and food spillage. The mixing room has a heavy build up of cobwebs and dust. The exhaust fan by the dish room has a heavy dust/grease build up. The area behind and around the clothes washer/dryer needs cleaned.
- Plumbing system not maintained in good repair — observed leaking at the 3 basin sink in the kitchen, repair attempted with duct tape.
- Food employees observed handling food not wearing proper hair restraints, such as nets, hats, or beard covers.
- Various breakfast food (trays of eggs, pans of sausage and cooked potatoes) was held at 64-70°F (room temp), in the grill area, rather than 41°F or below as required. According to PIC, products were put out at 8:30 am, must be used or disposed by 12:30 pm. Products must either be kept under temp control or a written procedure is needed to document disposal after 4 hours out of temp.
- Various containers of refrigerated, ready to eat time temperature control for safety food was date-marked by the facility (corned beef 10-19, turkey and ham salad 10-16, tuna salad 10-20, cooked fish 10-18, etc), but was beyond the 7 day use or sell by date and requires discarding. Packages of opened hot dogs and deli meats and pans of cooked meats are not being dated. Leftover heels of ham and other meats must still be dated, cannot be used past the original 7 day use date, ham salad must have the use by date of the oldest piece of ham used. Left handout.
- Duct tape observed being used for repair on the meat tenderizer and other equipment, cannot be used on food equipment as it is not a non-absorbent material and is not smooth and easily cleanable.
- Follow-ups on Nov. 7, 2019 and Nov. 19, 2019 found eight violations and three violations respectively. Both inspections deemed the restaurant out of compliance. Type 3 follow-ups were made on Dec 16, 2019 and Jan 6, 2020, both of which found the restaurant remained out of compliance with five violations and three violations.
However, an inspection completed Jan. 16, 2020, found that The Lighthouse was in compliance with all state regulations.
In accordance with the procedures for change in ownership, another inspection will be required for the restaurant in the case of an application for someone to take over.
“The restaurant has to be re-inspected prior to the official change of ownership taking place,” said Shannon Powers, press secretary for the PA Department of Agriculture. “We can’t just transfer ownership without inspecting it.”
A story, published Nov. 4, 2019 on http://pennsylvaniarestaurantinspections.com, has been circulating recently on social media platforms. The story discusses the Oct. 28, 2019 inspection and the various violations.