Health Department Closes Down Popular Local Restaurant

This sign taped to the door of the restaurant greeted arriving diners Wednesday evening.
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WACO (September 26, 2012)-The Waco-McLennan County Health District has closed down Waco's landmark Lake Brazos Bar and Grill and health officials said Wednesday it will be up to owners to decide whether to correct the problems that led to the temporary closure.

A sign on the door Wednesday evening said, "Lake Brazos Bar & Grill is closed for business."

Health District program administrator David Litke said Wednesday the latest inspection of the restaurant produced a four-page report that identified a list of problems including inadequate refrigeration; inadequate cleaning of food equipment, food contact surfaces and the building; food equipment in need of repair, and employees not practicing good hand-washing practices.

Conditions have to be significant for there to be a closure, but "we kept finding violations," he said.

Jesse Beltrami, a fire safety class instructor, was going to hold a class at Lake Brazos Bar and Grill Wednesday night.

But was surprised to find that the restaurant had closed its doors.

"I got there at 4:30 and, to my amazement, there was a lock on the door so it created a crisis for us. We had to call all 29 people that we invited and go to another restaurant," Beltramini said.

Owners of the restaurant could not be reached for comment as of Wednesday night. Whether they will re-open or stay closed is still unclear.

The restaurant, which originally operated as the Miller Family Lake Brazos Steakhouse, was rebuilt and renamed after fire destroyed the original building in 2000.