Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Audacity of Heartland Cafe's Arrogance

Have the owners of the Heartland Cafe learned their lesson after being shut down last week for "critical" health code violations? It would appear not. Rodents were crapping "throughout" the Heartland Cafe, according Chicago health inspectors. Mold slime was oozing in the ice machine, cross contaminating beverages. Refrigeration was too warm. As documented by this blog, their back door has historically been kept open, an invitation to rats and mice. Last week, a woman got food poisoning and called 311, which resulted in the health inspection. In the top photo we see the Heartland Cafe's food stand at Loyola Beach. It, too, should be closely inspected. The photo below was taken on July 7, 2007 and shows the door open to any vermin that care to walk in. This has not changed since the photo was taken. Has the Heartland Cafe learned its lessons? We'll see, after the food stand on the beach opens in the spring. Meanwhile... Today, the Heartland is still closed, but Hogan hopes to reopen later this week. She is quoted in a darkly amusing ChiTown Daily News post. She is callous about the whole disgusting affair. “We went way further than (inspectors) asked for because we were so humiliated at being shut down,” Hogan says. Huh? No, Hogan and partner Michael James are cleaning up because the law requires them to do so. Okay, they were undoubtedly "humiliated" as well, but why didn't Hogan and James go as far as the law required in the first place so as to avoid this humiliation? Notice that Hogan professes no concern for customer health and safety. No, it's more about their "humiliation." Nevermind that a customer was made ill. Following disclosure of the violations, Heartland CafĂ© was roundly skewered by Rogers Park bloggers. That irks Hogan, who says the restaurant tries to be a good neighbor. No, no, no. If the restaurant was really trying to be a good neighbor, it would not have allowed critically unsanitary conditions to exist, which made at least one neighbor sick. Hogan is "irked" by being criticized by Rogers Park bloggers? (Over the weekend, Hogan and James called the shut down "excesive," as if they were being picked on unfairly.) Bloggers are only writing what thousands of others are saying to each other, and what thousands more are writing now on review sites, emails, comment sections, and mainstream newspapers. Hogan, whose filthy disease vector of a restaurant might have killed somebody, is "irked" because people dare to criticize them for mouse shit, mold and poorly refrigerated food? What nerve, what arrogance. RELATED: Comments at Yelp SDS and the Heartland Cafe Owners Bloggers React to Heartland Cafe License Suspension Heartland Cafe's Inconvenient Truths Heartland Cafe Blames City for Health Code Violations Chicago News Bench RSS Feed Cool Stuff...