LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — At Capo's speakeasy on Sahara and Lindell, you ring the bell, wait for someone to slide open a secret panel and begin your experience in the mafia-themed Italian restaurant.
Wanted posters dot the walls, but what we wanted were answers.
The 34-demerit C grade Capo's got on Sept. 11 is the same combo they had last time they were featured on Dirty Dining in the Spring of 2016.
"We had a couple things wrong as far as lighting and basic stuff in the kitchen," said Manager Brendyn Veres. "Nothing related to our kitchen, of course," he said, immediately contradicting himself. "We do a really good job cleaning every single night."
Not according to the health inspection, which documented excessive dirt and debris on kitchen floors, dirty walls across the grill area, dirty hand sink, mold in the ice machine, and other problems with sanitation in the kitchen.
"I wouldn't know anything about that," Veres said. "I'm just the bar manager. The kitchen manager's not here right now."
"So, if you're the bar manager, does that mean I shouldn't ask you any questions about what the inspectors wrote up with the food and the compromised temperatures and the cross contamination?" Darcy Spears asked.
"Again, I wouldn't know anything about that," Veres responded. "I'm the only manager here right now, unfortunately."
The bar manager should know that the ice machine chute was full of mold, but he might not have been aware of the other violations, like raw calamari at unsafe temperatures and cooked pasta and marinara sauce that had to be thrown out due to improper cooling.
Inspectors also saw a bag of french fries contaminating uncovered eggplant Parmesan, dishware and kitchenware stored as clean that were dirty with dried food debris, and a food handler cutting carrots without washing them first.
There were also snap traps in the liquor storage room--which the Health District does not consider proper pest control for rodents.
"Do you guys want to let us get any video of the cleaned up kitchen?" Spears asked.
"I talked to the general manager," said Veres. "He's not going to allow any video today, unfortunately."
Capo's was ready for its scheduled re-inspection on Sept. 25, but the health inspector called out sick so they're waiting to reschedule.
Rincon Catracho on Maryland Parkway and Flamingo is another Dirty Dining repeat offender.
It was shut down Sept. 11 due to lack of adequate handwashing facilities. The only hand sink in the kitchen had been removed. The other sink had no soap and the women's restroom had no hot water.
In addition to that imminent health hazard, it also got 33 demerits.
Tamales, plantains and chicharron were all expired.
There was pink slime and black mold in the ice machine.
And rodent droppings in the corner of the service area.
Rincon Catracho did not return our call for comment. It was back to an 8-demerit A grade on Sept. 13.
7-Eleven on Oakey and Wyoming was shut down Sept. 11 for gross, unsanitary conditions.
They were preparing and storing food in an area of active construction.
There were also dead flies in a freezer, base coving had been gnawed by rodents, and black mold and trash filled the floor sinks.
7-Eleven was back to a 6-demerit A grade on Sept. 13.
The franchise owner did not respond to calls for comment, but we do have a statement from their corporate office:
"Thank you for bringing this to our attention. The safety and well-being of our 7-Eleven customers is of utmost importance.
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. The safety and well-being of our 7-Eleven customers is of utmost importance.
This particular 7-Eleven location was undergoing renovations last week and ceased selling any open food and beverages during that time. Last Friday, Sept. 20, the Health Department re-inspected the store, which received an "A" grade.
We appreciate 7-Eleven customers' patience during the store's construction last week and look forward to better serving the community now that renovations are completed.
7-Eleven franchisees are independent business owners and are solely responsible for the day-to-day operation of their franchised stores. The independent franchise owner fully cooperated with the Las Vegas Health Department and has been reminded that any renovations being done in the store constitutes an active construction zone.
Click here to see the health report for Capo's Restaurant.
Click here to see the health report for 7-Eleven Snack Bar.
Click here to see the health report for Rincon Catracho.