A popular West Loop eatery remains closed after failing a Wednesday re-inspection by the Chicago Department of Public Health.
The re-inspection was requested by Bar Louie management when they signed an affidavit on Tuesday, stating they had corrected all health violations.
Management also received a word of caution about covering up the large, phosphorescent green "license suspended" sign that was affixed to their front door on October 9. Several nearby business owners told the health department that Bar Louie had covered the sign with a "Closed for Remodeling" sign of their own.
The health department did not see the sign during the re-inspection.
Defacing, altering, removing or obstructing a "License Suspended" sign carries a $250 fine for each offense, the department said.
Health inspectors claimed last Friday that they found over 1,000 rat droppings in a storage area at a Bar Louie location at 741 W. Randolph Street.
Bar Louie was shut down and cited for gaps in the front and back doors that allow access to rodents and insects, fruit flies in the kitchen, a poorly maintained outside garbage area with trash overflowing onto the ground, no sanitizing solution in the automatic dishwashing machine, and no hot water at sinks throughout the place.
“We take food safety seriously, and these are the types of unacceptable violations that leave the door wide open for food borne illness,” said Chicago Department of Health Commissioner Terry Mason. “Bar Louie will not be allowed to re-open until it has taken corrective action and passed re-inspection.”
This closure was the 203rd time this year that inspectors have shut a food establishment for violations of the Chicago Health Code. It's the third time a Bar Louie location has been cited.
Bar Louie representatives will have to explain themselves at an administrative hearing on Nov. 6 and pay a fine expected to be about $2,000.
Bar Louie has 11 locations in the Chicago area, six in the city itself. Three of the city locations have been shut down this year for health violations. The Hyde Park location was shut down on Oct. 1 by the Mayor’s Dumpster Task Force, and the Taylor Street location was shut down by CDPH on August 28.
Chicagoans who believe that a restaurant or other food establishment is operating in an unsafe manner are encouraged to dial 311 and report it.