Slumping sales could close a Mexican restaurant that got into hot water after health inspectors found a deer carcass in its kitchen, the manager said.
Owner Socrates Montano told the staff of La Charreada, 1360 Indianapolis Rd., that he might close the eatery down if sales don't improve this weekend, said Julio Muniz, La Charreada's new manager.
However, Board of Health Administrator Beth Glaze said inspectors visited the restaurant as part of its weekly checkup Friday and none of the employees mentioned that it might be going out of business.
The health department closed La Charreada for about two days in late October after inspectors showed up in response to a complaint and found employees butchering a bloody deer carcass in the kitchen during business hours.
Publicity from the incident caused sales to fall 65 to 70 percent, district manager Juan Valery told the BannerGraphic at the beginning of November.
Muniz, who was hired after the previous manager and four other employees were fired as a result of the inspection, said sales Friday night seemed to have picked up. This might dissuade the owner from closing the store, he added.
Health Inspector Doug Ehmen told the BannerGraphic at the beginning of this month that the health department has tried to work with La Charreada to help it clean up its record and still keep its doors open.
The Board of Health put the restaurant on a six-month probation that requires it to undergo weekly inspections, each of which it must pay for.
However, Ehman said the health department kept the fines minimal - $25 per week -- so as not to put La Charreada out of business.
Though it had a spotty health record prior to its temporary closure, inspections since the closure have show few, if any, violations.
County health officer Dr. Robert Heavin told the BannerGraphic that his staff has been working with the restaurant staff to help them meet inspection requirements, which is in the best interest of the public.