Restaurant Exposed: Neighborhood bar reopens after health dept. shutdown

September 22, 2017 07:46 PM

A neighborhood bar on the Rochester’s west side will finally reopened on Friday, September 22. It was forced to close its doors for a week when the Monroe County Department of Health shut it down because of an old forgotten appliance stored in the basement.

The door was open when News10NBC dropped by Classics Bar and Grill on Wednesday, September 20, but the sign on the door stating that the health department had suspended the bar’s license was an indication that no one was cracking open a cold one at the bar.

The owner, Michael Knight, was working alone - the sound of ESPN blaring in his empty bar. He said he was shocked the health department closed him down.

“You looked at the floors,” he said incredulously. “You could eat off the floors!"

No doubt the floors were gleaming as was his kitchen. But that's not why health inspectors forced him to shut his doors. It was because of an unplugged, rusted freezer that was stored in the basement. Knight said when the inspector opened the freezer, he jumped back and screamed.

Knight showed us the pictures of the freezer filled with brackish water and bags of long forgotten rotten food floating on top. The inspector shut down the bar and ordered Knight to get rid of the freezer and its contents.

Knight insists that he had never used the old, rusted freezer. It had belonged to his dad when his father ran the bar.

“That was something that wasn't working. It was in the basement in the corner of the basement,” he said referring to the freezer.  "My dad passed away for the last 15 years.”  He said he was sure the freezer hadn’t been opened since his Dad’s death. He says the inspector never noticed the old freezer for decades.

"Same inspector,” said Knight. “He inspected the place for 20 plus years, and this is the first time he's ever opened the freezer."

He says that's because boxes had always been stored on top of it.  Now that the freezer is gone, the health department gave him Knight the green light to reopen. He says patrons should not be concerned.

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"Come on down it's the safest place in the world,” said Knight. "We've been here for over 40 years and we hope to be here for 40 more."

To mark its re-opening, the bar is hosting an old school Raggae celebration Saturday night.

We want our consumer investigations to empower you - the consumer.  If you have plans to eat out, here’s Deanna’s Do List:

1. Check the restaurants inspection record.
2. If you see a problem, report it.


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