Violations Close Longtime Tallahassee Restaurant

Hobbit American Grill
Posted at 5:45 PM, Jan 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-04 18:37:13-05

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) -- A Tallahassee restaurant was forced to shut down after a routine health inspection resulted in more than 30 violations Tuesday.

Hobbit American Grill on Pensacola Street was closed starting Tuesday afternoon when the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation reported 34 violations, including live roaches, mold presence, and unsanitary conditions by the hand-washing sinks.

Sherri Capece, an assistant to the restaurant's owners, said the forcible closure of Hobbit's was "embarrassing."

"Oh, my gosh. It was devastating," she said. "Didn't know how to handle it."

Hobbit has served customers in Tallahassee for 35 years. Capece said this is the first time the restaurant has closed due to violations.

"A lot of them were fixed on site," she said. "Some of them were maintenance -- cosmetic things that we were not aware of."

The staff spent Tuesday night and Wednesday morning working to correct each of the violations.

"We've been here cleaning and reorganizing, after we had Florida Pest Control come in," Capece said.

The violations come at a critical time for Hobbit, as college students return to Tallahassee next week. The restaurant, Capece said, wants to make sure it's open to serve them.

"I think people see it. They don't understand it -- how hard it hits you," she said.

Hobbit American Grill said it has fixed all of the issues outstanding in the inspection report.

"Can't wait to get back open and start doing what we do," Capece said.

A health inspector visited Hobbit's Wednesday afternoon, but the restaurant remained closed for the day.

WTXL has reached out to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation to learn more about the inspection.