LAKELAND, Fla— Many of us get a little hungry after a long flight… right?
Well, passengers and employees at the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport in Polk County might have had to fly on to the next city before getting a meal following the emergency closure of the airport’s only restaurant last Friday.
Hallback’s Bar and Grill was shut down as an emergency closure May 11th with 11 violations.
Among the issues documented by the state:
No soap or paper towels at employee hand washing sinks, dirty nozzles on the soda dispenser, and roach activity with around 25 dead roaches behind the reach in cooler next to the ice machine and more in the server area. The inspector also reported finding 5 live roaches crawling up the walls behind the reach in cooler, near the dishwashing machine and in a storage area.
Airport director Eugene Conrad, who himself is a frequent customer says the restaurant space is rented out by a private company and not run by the city.
The father and son who run this establishment didn’t want to allow our camera into the kitchen when we stopped by Wednesday afternoon, but they eventually did allow me to take a look around.
On our visit, we found soap and paper towels still missing from most of the employee handwashing stations. The owner told us he wasn’t expecting the health inspector back for another two weeks and had an employee on their way to the store to pick up the needed supplies.
We also spotted food stored on the floor in the walk-in cooler, which is also considered a health code violation. And in our brief walk through the kitchen, we also found a single dead roach on the floor near where food is prepared.
This establishment was cleared by the state to reopen last week pending an upcoming reinspection.
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