Records: NW Side Indian restaurant stayed open after city shut it down

Live roaches found during 11 straight inspections

By Dillon Collier - Investigative Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - A Northwest Side Indian restaurant was cited for operating without a license last month after a city inspector found employees serving customers days after health officials shut down the restaurant because of a roach infestation.

Spice Fine Indian Cuisine, located in the 4900 block of Northwest Loop 410, received a failing score of 59 on Sept. 6 after multiple roaches were found crawling inside a bin of rice.

An inspector also saw food being stored on the floor, and a toilet in the women's restroom was clogged and nearly overflowing.

Health officials suspended Spice's food license, citing gross and unsanitary conditions, according to city records.

Live roaches continued to infest the restaurant during follow-up inspections conducted Sept. 7 and daily from Sept. 10 to Sept. 15.

Spice's Sept. 15 inspection report states that the inspector, accompanied by a San Antonio Police Department officer, found Spice fully operational with customers seated at tables and employees waiting on tables and cooking and preparing food, according to city records.

Since the restaurant's owner was not on-site, an employee who identified himself as being in charge was issued a citation for operating without a license.

The employee at first refused to sign the citation, but he eventually relented after the SAPD officer said he would arrest the employee for refusing to sign it, city records confirm.

Roaches were again found during a follow-up inspection Sept. 18.

During that inspection, roaches were seen crawling on a food prep table and under a ware-washing table, and dozens of dead roaches and roach debris were found in pools of water collecting on the floor, according to city records.

After two follow-up inspections Sept. 19, Spice's food license was restored, but the restaurant remained closed pending payments for the operating without a license citation and reinspection fees.

A Metropolitan Health Department spokeswoman said Spice was finally allowed to reopen Sept. 20.

Reached by phone last month, Spice's owner said he understood the issues uncovered by the inspector and that he made improvements to the restaurant after a productive meeting with health officials.

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