Augusta, Maine Restaurant Forced to Close Over Moldy Food, Other Safety Violations
It's worth noting that the restaurant did pass its previous health inspection back in the fall of 2022. However, after an emergency response from Augusta Fire on Wednesday evening, Augusta's 99 Restaurant on Civic Center Drive has been forced to , at least temporarily, close.
It all began on Wednesday evening when the restaurant's fire alarm system detected water flow coming from the sprinkler system. This drew a hefty response from the Augusta Fire Department, sending multiple units including the Ladder truck.
Following the fire call, a visit was made to the restaurant from the City of Augusta's Code Enforcement Director, Rob Overton. Upon Overton's visit and inspection of the eatery, he said that multiple code violations were found that could effect the health and safety of the patrons.
Overton cited waste water being found in the basement as well as, according to the Kennebec Journal article, "faulty fire alarm system, serious serious electrical issues throughout the building, mold in the basement, an unsanitary kitchen area, grease behind and near the cooking equipment, rotten and moldy food in the walk-in refrigerator and emergency exits blocked or not lit up."
Overton's visit happened after Augusta fire officials said they spotted several of the violations during their call to the 99 Restaurant on Wednesday evening. However, Overton says the restaurant may once again open to the public following his inspection after the violations are remedied.
A representative of the restaurant said that the water in the basement had happened earlier in the day following a major leak in the sprinkler system. That leak also soaked portions of the bar's electrical system, the article stated.
Overton did tell the KJ that they see 'lots of issues like these' that he attributes to primarily staffing issues with not enough people working at an establishment to keep up on issues like this.
Augusta's Code Enforcement Officer, Rob Overton, said in part,
“We haven’t determined the full scope of work that will need to be completed in order to reopen. I suspect it will be the sprinkler and fire alarm repaired, having the wastewater properly cleaned from the basement, the electrical system inspected and repaired by a licensed electrician and the kitchen cleaned to have the grease accumulations removed.”