Restaurants Exposed: Restaurant shut down by health department

August 25, 2017 07:38 PM

The Monroe County Health Department shut down another Rochester restaurant.  But this time, it’s highly unlikely the restaurant will re-open.  That's because the owner's health department violation is just one of many problems.

The doors at Jimmy's Breakfast Cafe on Jefferson Avenue in Rochester are locked.  The lights are off, and the coolers are empty. Jimmy's is closed. The Monroe County Health Department ordered the restaurant closed after finding there was inadequate refrigeration.  And with no way to keep food cold, the restaurant had to close its doors.

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That saddens the barbers next door who say they really liked the food.  

“It was excellent,” said Rodney Johnson, a barber at the neighboring shop.

But the restaurant owner, Jimmy Griner, says the restaurant has closed for good.  Not because of the health department shutdown, but because he's been evicted for failing to pay his rent.

"So what happened was after so much time of me not getting him to fix these issues, I held my rent," said Griner.

Griner claims the owner of the building, Willie Lightfoot, failed to make needed repairs so he didn't pay rent.  Lightfoot’s attorney said Griner's version of events is not true.

"I don't know where that's coming from,” said Nathan Van Loon, Lightfoot’s attorney.  He argued that Griner would have had the opportunity to make the argument that he was withholding rent for repairs when Lightfoot took him to court.  Griner didn’t do that.  Instead, at his eviction hearing, Griner admitted he had paid only partial rent in May and nothing in June and July – owing a total of $1,900.

The judge gave him until the next day, August 15th to come up $2,680 dollars which includes back rent, late fees, as well as filing and attorney's fees.  Griner didn't pay, so he was evicted.

"When you have a landlord and tenant relationship, the tenant has an obligation to pay the landlord," said Van Loon.

And so now Jimmy Griner can do little more than stand outside a restaurant that is no longer his.  When asked what that’s like he said, “I don't feel no type of way. The love is still out there.  I feel it everywhere I go."

He says folks love his food and he hopes to open another restaurant.

Before you go out to eat, consider our advice.  

Here’s Deanna’s Do List:

1. Check the restaurants inspection record

2. If you see a problem, report it. 


Deanna Dewberry

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