TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Local News

August 24, 2012

Shoney’s reacts to shutdown

Hopes to reopen next week

CORBIN — By Jeff Noble / Staff writer

The owner-franchise of the Shoney’s restaurant in North Corbin called Wednesday’s shutdown by the Laurel County Health Department “an unfortunate incident” that should have been addressed earlier.

Bill Emendorfer said the shutdown was not about sanitation, but about an issue with insects. He added the problem is being addressed, and hopes to have the restaurant reopened next week after the health department re-inspects it.

The eatery at 360 West Cumberland Gap Parkway (U.S. 25E) was closed by an inspector with the Laurel County Health Department around noon Wednesday. That came after the department received an anonymous complaint about the restaurant regarding unsanitary conditions, according to the health department’s director, Mark Hensley.

“The exterminator was called this week. There was a delay from Monday to Wednesday due to scheduling. Had he been here Tuesday, this wouldn’t have happened. We take this extremely serious. It’s not just sub-standard, but below sub-standard, and we apologize to our guests and our community. We’re embarrassed. It was an exception, and not a rule... This should have been addressed a couple of weeks ago,” said Emendorfer.

He said Shoney’s had never failed a health inspection in 25 years, and passed their last inspection last November with a score of 97.

Emendorfer said he was in Atlanta at a Shoney’s meeting when he heard the news. He left Atlanta after getting up at 4 a.m. Thursday morning and drove back to Corbin. Once at Shoney’s, he met with the health department inspector who closed the restaurant, the exterminator and the restaurant’s management. Emendorfer added the inspector was very cooperative with all of them at the meeting.

“We were expecting the exterminator to come in this afternoon, but since we had this issue, we had them come in this morning. And we brought in an outside cleaning crew to clean up all night… The problem is being addressed as we speak. Every piece of equipment is being taken apart, cleaned and put back together… We’ll have it exterminated again tomorrow. It should be ready for re-inspection and back up to our regular standards. If we get a passing grade re-inspection, and we will, we expect to reopen next week,” he said.

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