On its marquee, Villa Rosa, 5786 S. Archer, promises a remodeled pizzeria. --Greater Southwest News-Herald photo by Tim Hadac

On its marquee, Villa Rosa, 5786 S. Archer, promises a remodeled pizzeria. --Greater Southwest News-Herald photo by Tim Hadac

Pizzeria promises ‘all new kitchen’

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Villa Rosa retools after Health Dept. shutdown 

By Tim Hadac

An Archer Avenue pizzeria is promising a complete renovation in the wake of its shutdown by the Chicago Department of Public Health six weeks ago.

“We are renovating the entire restaurant with all new and innovative, state-of-the-art equipment to be able to provide the best dine-in, carryout and catering experience for our guests!” said the management of Villa Rosa Pizza Restaurant, 5786 S. Archer, in a social media post. “We can’t wait for you to see the All New-Better Than Ever Villa Rosa next time you visit.”

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On its marquee, Villa Rosa, 5786 S. Archer, promises a remodeled pizzeria. –Greater Southwest News-Herald photo by Tim Hadac

Villa Rosa Pizza was ordered closed by health inspectors on Sept. 19 after it failed its second inspection in 10 days.

CDPH staff was originally at Villa Rosa on Sept. 9 in response to a customer who complained about seeing a cockroach at the restaurant.

Villa Rosa management declined to speak with the Greater Southwest News-Herald about the shutdown, saying they preferred to speak “in a few weeks when we get everything in place.”

In a comment on Villa Rosa’s Facebook page, a man said he had heard that the restaurant had been ordered closed and asked if it was true. The restaurant replied, “We decided to close our business down to bring Garfield Ridge a new and improved Villa Rosa. All new kitchen and appliances.”

But according to the inspection report, as well as a Health Department statement to the Greater Southwest News-Herald, the shutdown occurred because CDPH suspended Villa Rosa’s business license.

In the Sept. 9 report, an inspector wrote that during the two-hour visit to Villa Rosa, he found six “large live roaches” crawling near a food preparation area.

The restaurant also was cited for:

  • A clogged hand-washing sink near the pizza preparation area.
  • Storing perishable food at unsafe temperatures (higher than 41 degrees). Inspectors ordered Villa Rosa staff to discard about 50 pounds of cheese, eggs, coleslaw, vodka sauce, cooked pasta and par-cooked chicken wings.
  • Using refrigeration units that fail to bring food to appropriately safe temperatures. Cited were the front walk-in cooler, the pizza prep cooler and the front prep cooler across from the cooking line.
  • “Excessive dust, grease and debris” on non-food storage shelves and racks.
  • “Heavy, encrusted grease” on the floor under the fryers.
  • “Soiled cloths with mold-like substance on floor under display cooler.”

Despite the findings, CDPH allowed the restaurant to remain open for business and gave Villa Rosa five days to correct violations.

When they returned on Sept. 19, they reportedly found more live cockroaches and several other hazards not corrected as instructed. That led to the shutdown.

Inspectors said they affixed a large, brightly colored “License Suspended” sign to the outside of the restaurant’s front door, as they always do when they suspend a license. By law, the sign may not be covered up or removed without permission from CDPH. Weeks after the shutdown, there was no evidence of the sign.

To receive its license back, Villa Rosa will have to request and pass another CDPH inspection. Last week, a CDPH representative said the request has not yet been made. In response to a customer question on Facebook, the restaurant said it hopes to re-open by January.

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