Customers complain of roaches at Great Wall Chinese

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida — Great Wall Chinese is located in St. Petersburg along 62nd Avenue North and Martin Luther King Street in the Rutland Plaza shopping center. The take-out restaurant is popular among customers.

"It's good, quick service," said one previous customer we found in the restaurant's parking lot. "The people were really friendly and the food was pretty good."

But not everyone leaves Great Wall Chinese Take-Out satisfied with their service.

"She was eating her rice, and there was a little roach in it," said Doriona Watson whose cousin, Twanisha Wright, filed a consumer complaint with the state, prompting a surprise visit by a health inspector.

The Florida Division of Hotels and Restaurants ordered an emergency closure April 28 after finding 28 violations. Among the issues were chicken stored in the freezer, unwrapped and with freezer burn; no soap at the employee hand washing sink; and roach activity, with 20 live roaches found under the three-compartment sink.

You may remember we were at this same restaurant back in June of last year.

"We just put it out on a plate and started to eat and I noticed this dark spot," recalled customer Dawna Dael in our June 2013 interview. "I moved it over with my fork, and when I did I noticed there were legs on it."

State records show at least three customers have now complained about receiving roaches in their food. Great Wall Chinese Take-Out has racked up a total of eight consumer complaints since 2010.

"They need to get closed down," said Watson. "That's just disgusting, and they need to clean up."

10 News stopped in, giving the restaurant yet another opportunity to show us any improvements they've made in their kitchen.

"Not here today," said an employee behind the counter when we asked to speak with a manager. The employee refused to show us a copy of the restaurant's inspection report when asked.

Restaurant staff has no obligation to take us into the kitchen but they are required by Florida law to show a copy of their latest inspection report, a law the restaurant refused to follow.

"No. The owner he's not here," the employee said. When we explained not showing a copy was a violation of Florida law, the employee remained defiant. "No, no … you can't."

We had to obtain the inspection report from the state, a report we shared with customers who reacted with disgust.

"We depend on cleanliness for our health," said customer Dottie Gaines. "Eating out, we expect things to be up to standards."


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