August restaurant inspections: Pensacola area sees 5 closures, including one spot twice

Jake Newby
Pensacola News Journal

Restaurants in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties enjoyed smooth sailing in July, navigating the waves that sometimes come with satisfying the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation's Hotel and Restaurant Division. 

The waters were rockier in August, however, as failed first inspections increased last month in Pensacola despite significantly fewer inspections conducted than in July. There also were five mandated closures of four restaurants, the highest monthly total of 2021 since February, which also brought five closures.  

In all, 34 food service establishments out of the 149 visited did not pass their first inspection. However, 85 did pass without a single violation. A complete list of those restaurants is below. 

Restaurant inspections

But three Escambia County restaurants and one Santa Rosa County restaurant did have to temporarily close in August. 

In Santa Rosa County, the Church’s Chicken on U.S. 90 was issued two separate emergency order recommendations, meaning it had to close on two occasions in August. 

The first closure came as a result of seven violations issued Aug. 10. Four of the seven were marked “high priority” and revolved around five flying insects in the kitchen; an excess of “20 rodent droppings” found on the floor near the hot holding unit; “rodent burrow” or “rodent nesting materials present” and a time and temperature control breach in which the Church’s reportedly held food at less than 135 degrees Fahrenheit. 

July restaurant inspections:1

June restaurant inspections: Two chain spots temporarily close in June, 23 enjoy perfect visits

The fast-food fried chicken restaurant was actually not cleared to reopen during the following day’s DBPR revisit, as the rodent dropping issue was not yet resolved 24 hours later. But according to the inspection notes, Church’s corrected that a little later in the day and did indeed wind up reopening Aug. 11. 

But, only eight days later, the Church’s was barred from service again, as more issues surfaced. 

The DBPR jotted down 11 violations Aug. 19, including eight basic issues and three high priority violations. The latter noted the presence of insects and rodents, specifically, 50 ants present along the wall behind the kitchen sink. 

Rodent activity was again present on this day at Church’s, as “approximately 20 droppings” were found in and around the restaurant’s storage area. 

Church’s second shutdown of the month took two days to correct instead of the typical one, and the fast-food chain spot reopened Aug. 21 with zero violations. It is open now. 

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In Escambia County, PoFolks on North Ninth Avenue, known for its homestyle comfort food, closed for a day after the Florida DBPR detected nine violations Aug. 6. Of those nine marks, four were of the high priority variety. 

The DBPR noted that the PoFolks dish machine chlorine sanitizer was not at proper minimum strength and also noticed about “30 live roaches found around the hot water heater,” in addition to roach droppings found in the same area of the building. 

The last high priority mark at PoFolks came due to a server “handling soiled dishes or utensils and then picking up plated food, served food or preparing a beverage without washing hands,” per the DBPR’s inspection notes on Aug. 6. 

The PoFolks staff were able to correct each infraction and reopen Aug. 7. 

The Subway on South Highway 29 in Cantonment accrued just three violations during its inspection Aug. 20, but the high priority mark it received was due to roach activity present as evidenced by “five live roaches found under the hot holding table.”

Like the PoFolks, the South Highway 29 Subway shrunk its violation total from three to zero and opened back up Aug. 21.

Rounding out the businesses to be served emergency order recommendations was Meat 2 BBQ and Hot Pot on North Davis Highway, a restaurant that opened at the end of 2019

When visited by DBPR inspectors on Aug. 25, Meat 2 BBQ tallied four violations. Its two high priority violations were due to rodent activity — one noted evidence of burrowing or rodent nesting materials present in a section of drywall near the stock hallway, the other violation was due to rodent droppings found near the sink and storage rack. 

Meat 2 BBQ wiped away all four violations in a 24-hour span and reopened Aug. 26. 

Twenty establishments in Escambia and another 14 in Santa Rosa failed their first inspections in August, including the aforementioned restaurants. But none aside from the four listed above had to close. 

Here are the 85 restaurants and food service establishments that turned up flawless reports when the DBPR visited them in August: 

  • Arby's (Mobile Highway and Gulf Breeze Parkway)
  • Panda Express (East Nine Mile, U.S. 90 and Gulf Breeze Parkway locations)
  • Taco Bell (North Davis and U.S. 90 locations) 
  • Black Sheep Tavern and Sports Pub 
  • McDonald’s (Blue Angel Parkway, Mobile Highway and East Cervantes locations) 
  • Chick-fil-A (North Ninth Avenue) 
  • Domino’s (East Cervantes, South Highway 29, North Ninth, West Michigan and East Nine Mile locations) 
  • The Magnolia 
  • Porky’s Pizza 
  • What The Cluck Chicken Truck 
  • Joe’s Caribe 
  • Hungry Howie’s (Creighton and West Nine Mile locations) 
  • Chuck E. Cheese
  • Longhorn Steakhouse 
  • Bounce House 
  • Subway (West Michigan, North Ninth and Pensacola Boulevard locations) 
  • Frostyworld Gelato 
  • Superbowls & Smoothies 
  • I Heart Bento 
  • Jimmy John’s (U.S. 90 and Bayou Boulevard locations) 
  • Jo’s As Always 
  • Lost Pizza
  • The Wacked Out Weiner (Pine Forest and Gulf Breeze Parkway) 
  • Burger King (Pine Forest, Brent Lane, East Nine Mile and North Davis locations) 
  • Hardee’s (Pensacola Boulevard) 
  • Whataburger (North Ninth Avenue and Gulf Breeze Parkway locations) 
  • Wendy’s (Pensacola Boulevard, North Davis, Gulf Breeze Parkway and South Highway 29 locations) 
  • Dynamic Food Service 
  • Cash Snacks 
  • The Ticket Sports Bar and the Ticket Sports Bar mobile truck 
  • True Grit 
  • Papa John’s Pizza (Gulf Breeze Parkway, Michigan Avenue and East Nine Mile locations) 
  • KFC (Mobile Highway) 
  • Firehouse Subs 
  • Pupuseria Nuevo Amanecer LLC
  • DeLuna Lanes 
  • Cesar’s Concessions 
  • Bubba’s 33 
  • Zaxby’s 
  • Favor Flavor Seafood
  • J&J Kazoku Restaurant
  • 1517
  • La Casita food truck 
  • Foosackly’s (East Nine Mile Road) 
  • Tu Do Vietnamese Restaurant
  • Sonic (West Michigan Avenue)
  • Lupita’s 
  • Hot Spot Barbecue 
  • Olive Garden 
  • Dickey’s Barbecue (Tiger Park Lane)
  • Panera Bread (U.S. 90) 
  • Loudoe’s food truck 
  • The Twist 
  • Major League Food 
  • Jumping Cousins
  • Waffle House (Gulf Breeze Parkway and Caroline Street locations)
  • Papa Murphy’s (Gulf Breeze Parkway)
  • Bonefish Grill
  • The Twist

View the detailed DBPR criteria and inspection information for yourself at data.pnj.com/restaurant-inspections/escambia

Jake Newby can be reached at jnewby@pnj.com or 850-435-8538.