Kenneth City, Florida- The CiCi's Pizza on 66th Street in Kenneth City reopened Thursday following a two month closure after voluntarily closing to treat a roach infestation first discovered by state inspectors.
The restaurant was originally shut down January 25 after the State Division of Restaurants documented roaches all over the kitchen including on top of the ice machine, under the pizza conveyer near the buffet line and even in a case of napkins.
The state eventually cleared the restaurant to reopen the following day, but then one week later, 10 News documented live roaches still in the restaurant during a live broadcast February 1st.
CiCi's management says over the past two months the restaurant has concentrated on correcting any issues and remodeled from the ground up. Earlier this week they scored a perfect inspection from the state.
"For guests that haven't been in here for a couple of months, they're going to see a completely new restaurant," said Kyle Smith, CiCi's Senior Vice President of Operations, who flew in from the chain's corporate headquarters in Texas to be at Thursday's reopening.
CiCi's abruptly closed following our February 1 broadcast showing the roaches through the dining room. The report apparently caught the attention of corporate management.
"We need to be better, we expect to be better," said Smith of his reaction to the news reports. "This brand is known for great things."
Despite the two month closure, customers lined up Thursday morning.
"I was hoping they'd open up earlier than today," said avid CiCi's fan EJ Ettle. "I missed them while they were closed, and of course I had to eat in other restaurants that were not as good as CiCi's."
But some customers worry if the same management is still in place, the problems will return.
"I used to come here, and I don't think I'd ever come back," said Diane Goedert, who was surprised to see the restaurant reopened.
CiCi's scored perfectly on their state inspection earlier this week. Smith says personnel changes were part of the shake up, which also included new tables and chairs, big screen televisions, paint, and a buffet line.
"It's not a quick fix. It's one of those things we want to make sure is right, and its right for the long term."
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More Restaurant Red Alert Reports:
Classic Homestyle Buffet, Tampa 1/11/12
Frank's Family Restaurant, Hernando 1/18/12
Big Easy Cajun, Brandon TownCenter 1/25/12
CiCi's Pizza, Kenneth City 2/1/12
China Express, Brandon 2/8/12
Daiquiri Deck, Maderia Beach 2/15/12
Athenian Garden, Tyrone Area, St. Pete 2/22/12
Bob Evans (Ulmerton Road), Pho 97 (Pinellas Park), Kobe Japanese Steak House (New Tampa) 2/29/12
China Jade, Carrollwood, 3/7/12
Nicki's West 59th (Bradenton), Top's China Buffet (Brandon), 400 Beach (St. Petersburg) 3/14/12
Hamburger Mary's Bar & Grille (Ybor City) 3/21/12
Sandy's Restaurant, Indian Rocks Beach 3/28/12
Beau Zimmer, 10 News