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Officials Close Cafe, But It Starts Serving Again Before Getting OK

Health officials shut down Corky's for insufficient hot water. The restaurant is now back open.

Corky's Cafe in San Clemente was shut down two weeks ago because of insufficient hot water. Patch file photo.
Corky's Cafe in San Clemente was shut down two weeks ago because of insufficient hot water. Patch file photo.
Health officials shut down Corky's Cafe in San Clemente earlier this month because of insufficient hot water, and before it was given the all clear to reopen, staff was caught serving customers.

On Feb. 11, inspectors from the Orange County Health Care Agency visited the restaurant. Employees told them that the water heater had been broken since the day before.

"However, the facility was found operating this date as usual. This is unacceptable. You cannot operate without hot water," an inspector wrote in a report published online. "Immediately cease all operations and repair/replace your water heater."

Inspectors also discovered less serious violations, such as pasta salad not kept at the right temperatures and reusing of butter containers to sanitize rags when they should've been tossed.

An inspector re-visited Corky's Feb. 13 and before he could reinspect anything, he discovered that the restaurant was doing business anyway, according to a followup report.

"Upon arrival I found 2 customers in the dining room drinking and waiting for their orders to arrive. The cook was observed cooking their meals and the doors were unlocked. This is unacceptable," the inspector wrote. "Inform your staff that when a CLOSED Seal is posted on your window they cannot open for business nor perform any kitchen duties of any kind."

After the dressing down, however, the inspector noted the water heater had been replaced and allowed Corky's to reopen. 

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