BY SABRINE BRISMEUR
The National Honor Society’s weeknight food fundraiser came to an abrupt end when health inspectors ordered the popular Beverly Hills Café to close early.
“We have no recourse except to assure everyone that food safety, cleanliness and sanitation is, and always will be, a priority,” Café President Ken Friedman said in a Facebook comment following the closing.
On Monday afternoon, Florida health inspectors temporarily forced the casual American diner to close its facility until the violations were corrected in the midst of a fundraising evening for the National Honor Society (NHS).
When customers mentioned NHS before the check, 15% of the proceeds were donated to NHS in order to raise money for future projects and activities. The fundraiser began at 11 and was set to end at 9:30, but supporters and families of NHS members who arrived after 5 p.m. were turned away as the café closed down early.
Beverly Hills Café has been used for CCHS fundraisers before. The Class of 2018 officers hosted a successful fundraiser at the diner earlier this year to raise money for events such as prom.
“It was really disappointing and surprising that the restaurant was closed early,” NHS Vice President Melanie Smith said. “They have always been generous and cooperative whenever we organize fundraisers.”
Though Beverly Hills Café initially cited a gas leak as the cause for the health inspection after a call with the NHS Fundraising Coordinator, public records online showed 15 health violations, including six high priority, three intermediate and six basic violations.
Among the inspection records were more alarming violations, such as roach activity and “live, flying insects in kitchen, food preparation area, or food storage area.” Basic violations included grease on the kitchen floor and bowls being “used to scoop seasoning on cook line and used to scoop raw shrimp in true unit.”
The basic violations were corrected on-site, according to the records.
However, this is not the first time Beverly Hills Café has received multiple health violations. During a routine inspection in June 2016, the restaurant received 24 violations but passed the inspection. Previous routine inspections received as few as 0 violations at one point in late 2015.
“We were ordered to close for a mandatory 24 hours due to a health department inspection,” Friedman wrote. “We can assure you that at no time were the customers in any type of danger.”
The diner is well-known in Cooper City and popular with residents, who frequent the restaurant known locally for its bread rolls, hamburgers and salads. The health violations came as a shock to many.
“It’s unfortunate that the fundraiser was cancelled, especially when so many kids in Cooper City visit this restaurant,” junior Stav Sharoni said. “It’s popular, so it’s a shame.”
NHS has not yet rescheduled their fundraiser.
The restaurant reopened Wednesday morning after remaining closed on Tuesday during re-inspection, as the roach issue had not been completely addressed, according to WPLG-TV Dirty Dining reporter Jeff Weinsier. Friedman wrote that all of the violations were mediated on Monday except for one, which was corrected the next day.
“I don’t wanna talk about it,” said one Facebook comment.
Featured image by Jeff Weinsier of Dirty Dining