Health Department Threatens to Close Delinquent Restaurants
By: Leah Uko
OMAHA (KPTM) - The DouglasCounty Health Department says some restaurants in the metropolitan area may beshut down Wednesday due to unpaid food and drink permits.
29 food establishments wereput on a list Tuesday for operating a business without a permit for threemonths.
DCHD's Director, Dr. Adi Poursaid the department notified businesses in December that permit payments wouldbe due on January 15, 2014. On February 15th, Dr. Pour said, anothernotice was sent out notifying restaurants that were delinquent and beingcharged a $100 late fee in addition to the cost of the food or drink permit.
Dr. Pour said the departmentcalled all 29 restaurants on March 11th to remind the owners onelast time that they needed to make a payment.
"They should pay right now,"Dr. Pour told FOX 42. "They, right now, have been running a business without apermit for three months."
In Douglas County it is amisdemeanor for a restaurant to operate without a permit and restaurant ownerscan face up to six months in jail, as well as potentially pay $500 each daythey go without making the full payment.
Dr. Pour said this week, asearly as April 2nd; officers with the Omaha Police Department would accompanyhealth inspectors who will go into delinquent restaurants to shut them down.Officers would serve the citation. Health inspectors would close therestaurants.
"This is part of doing business,"Dr. Pour explained. "If you run a business, there's a cost to run thatbusiness. You should be away of what that means."
The amounts due range from$200 to $800. In addition to pay for the permits, restaurants could face are-open fee of $200 and court costs.
This was a penalty somerestaurant owners avoided by coming into the health department Tuesday to pay.
Owner of Stiles Pub, AndyStiles paid $306 to get his bar off the list. Stiles was on the list in 2013also.
"I was so frustrated withmyself when I saw the list today," Stiles admitted. "For some reason I had it inmy head that it was in May."
Owner of Impulse Bar, DevinWilson, came in to pay his bar's $306 that was due.
"If it was something that I wouldhave known about, I would have taken care of it," Wilson explained. "Especiallywith the health department. I'm not screwing around with that or anything withthe city."
Wilson explained that thenotifications were sent to an old address, which he updated with the healthdepartment.
Other restaurants that paidas of Tuesday by 3:30 p.m. were:
A View West
Beer and Loathing in Dundee
My Way Lounge
Synergy Fine Wines
Restaurants that remained onthe list as of Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. were:
Accelerando Coffee House
Big Red Mini Mart
C-Star Convenience Store
Classic's Dine In & CarryOut
De Leon's Mexican Food
Dreisbach's Steaks Inc.
O Face Bar
PJ's Sugar Shack
Shawn's Breakfast and More
Taste of Thailand
The Barbeque Barn Mobile
Will Dogie Dogs N More
DCHD said restaurants have tomake payments in person at 1111 S. 41st St. anytime from 8 to 4:30p.m. It takes cash, checks and money orders.