Bar + Bistro @ The Arts Factory lands on Dirty Dining
Bar + Bistro at the Arts Factory is featured in this week's Dirty Dining report.Photo: Video by ktnv.com
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- A cornerstone restaurant in the Arts District is shut down for what health inspectors call gross, unsanitary conditions. But the restaurant's manager is firing back.
From the get-go our camera wasn't welcome inside Bar + Bistro at the Arts Factory, but once we got outside, the manager let loose.
"We've been inspected five times. Five times! In the past three months," explained West Isbutt.
Bar + Bistro has been subject to a slew of recent inspections, but four of them surround an April 4th closure for 47 demerits and gross unsanitary conditions.
"They had a mission. They were out to look for enough stuff to do that. They showed up the day before First Friday. Excuse me," questioned Isbutt.
Inspectors found raw sewage backing up from floor drains throughout the kitchen.
"Why would you continue operating if your floor sinks are backing liquid waste up onto the kitchen floor," asked Chief Investigator Darcy Spears.
"That was not the case. What the case was that a dishwash thing was doing it outside of the dishwash and had the water there," said Isbutt.
But several follow-up inspections note the sewage back-flow issue from the floor drains had not been resolved.
"This restaurant has been here for 15 years. The plumbing has never changed. They drain the same today as they always have. We were targeted. There's no question about it," said Isbutt.
In a written statement, the Health District denies targeting any restaurant and says they had to do their due diligence to address an imminent health hazard and risk to public safety and waste water is far from the only problem inspectors found.
"Expired half-and-half that was a week old, hard to argue with, the date was on there," explained Chief Investigator Darcy Spears.
"The date was on there. It had been delivered to us from the purveyor that day. That day," said Isbutt.
"They delivered expired product to you," asked Spears.
"One container of Half and Half out of 25. Yes. We called them, they obviously apologized, took it all back, " said Isbutt.
But not before Bar + Bistro used more than half the bottle. There was also a metal twist tie submerged in some beans.
"No customer wants to eat a metal twist tie," said Spears.
"No, it was actually on the package. It wasn't like, floating free," explained Isbutt.
Yes, it was. The Health District's picture tells that story. Their pictures also show uncovered food just inches beneath a dirty fan, a bucket of sanitizer in a frying pan and an ice scoop being stored in a less than sanitary manner.
"The rules are the rules whether they're fair or not. It is what it is and you have to live with them," said Isbutt.
Inspectors also found cooked chicken, ground beef, fish, and cut tomatoes that had to be trashed due to unsafe temperatures.
"They caught us at that moment when all the lunch things are being taken out and the dinner things are being brought in. We told them that. They didn't care," said Isbutt.
How about all the personal items inspectors found in the kitchen? There was a cellphone, keys, medication and an employee's hat on top of a jar of cookies.
"The hat was not sitting on top of a jar of cookies. The hat was sitting on top of the bag - in - box system," said Isbutt.
"The picture shows it on top of a jar of cookies," said Spears.
"We don't have cookies," said Isbutt.
But the label on the jar says Galletas, which means cookies in Spanish. Isbutt says most of the violations are minor and he stands by his defense.
"I believe fully that we are a victim of their targeting because we are a unique place, I am very vocal about inequities and we pay the price for that," said Isbutt.
Bar + Bistro's inspection rollercoaster came to a stop on April 9 when they reopened once and for all with an 8 demerit A grade. That day, their biggest problem was a large container of onion soup and another of mashed potatoes they had to throw out because of unsafe temperatures. That and the fact that there were no clean dishes.