Old Manhattan Pizza was temporarily closed down by the state after inspectors found 51 violations, 14 considered High Priority.
YBOR CITY, Florida- On East 7th Avenue in the heart of Ybor City, Old Manhattan Pizza is a restaurant popular with the late night and lunchtime crowds.
We were first here back in January. That's when a state inspector documented sewage backing up into the kitchen contaminating sauce buckets sitting on the floor.
Ten months later the state was back again, this time closing the restaurant down with 51 violations, 14 considered High Priority.
Among the issues- employees not washing hands before preparing food, the slicer blade soiled with old food debris and time/temperature violations with eight pizzas ordered thrown out at 78 degrees for an unknown period of time.
"There is nobody here right now," said Kadir Yaylaci who at first told us the owner went home to take a shower. "I'll call him. If he wants to talk to you. If he permits you... you can film. Please stop. I don't want to be on TV," he said blocking our camera with his hand.
After an hour of waiting the owner never showed. We were told he did not want our camera in the kitchen.
"I don't think he will... I don't think he will," said Yaylaci.
Even from the front doors we spotted evidence of roach activity, live flies and what appeared to be potential rodent droppings, all documented on the state inspection report a week earlier.
"I wouldn't want to eat there... knowing there were roaches and rat turds. Not something I would want to see or be around when I'm trying to eat," said Tony Massaro.
The restaurant also refused to provide us a copy of their latest inspection report, something we had to obtain from the state.
Old Manhattan Pizza was allowed to reopen the following day after their emergency closure. The owner never returned our call to discuss the previous issues.
Beau Zimmer, 10 News