Copper Premium Pub reopened Friday for lunch, after a couple of nights off to make needed repairs.
The restaurant owners didn’t specify the repairs, but some work was needed according to the restaurant’s recent health department inspection. A South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control inspector performed a routine visit Sept. 14, scoring the restaurant at 71 points — a “C” grade.
The inspection came just a week after the restaurant opened. The site was home to previous restaurants, but underwent extensive renovation for almost two years. According to the inspection report, several violations involving food service and staff protocol were observed and corrected on-site.
Others would entail repairs, including a blocked hand sink, and dish machine plumbed to a hand sink drain.
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Jim Beasley, spokesman for DHEC, spoke generally about restaurants in South Carolina where it’s common for a site to close for a day or two following a less-than-desired score. There isn’t a set score, he said, mandating a restaurant close for fixes.
“It many regards, it’s really a self-policing kind of thing,” Beasley said. “Owners don’t like posting bad scores. They realize it isn’t good for business.”
The health department could shut down a site for egregious health violations regardless of overall score, but it isn’t common. Instead the health department schedules follow-up visits to mark improvement. A restaurant must post its given score until a new inspection takes place.
“Typically the restaurant industry in South Carolina is very cooperative and very good,” Beasley said. “They want to do what is good for their community and for their workers.”
A return inspection is scheduled at Copper Pub for Sept. 23.
A single low health score, followed by quick improvement, isn’t unprecedented. An online search at scdhec.gov of Lake Wylie restaurants, schools, snack bars and service stations providing food brought up 138 results. There were 12 “B” or “C” scores, the rest letter “A.”
Of those dozen scores, only once — discounting Copper Premium, which hasn’t had its follow-up yet — did a restaurant fail to get an “A” on the follow-up visit, often within a few days of the lower score. The River Rat received back-to-back “C” ratings last month, but scored an “A” three days after the second one.
Lake Wylie restaurants account for five “B” or “C” scores in 2016. If Copper Premium sees its score improve enough at follow-up, all Lake Wylie food establishments will carry a current “A” rating.
John Marks: 803-831-8166
Want to know more?
For more on health scores, or to check them for local restaurants, visit dhec.sc.gov/Apps/Environment/FoodGrades