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Vegas chain closes restaurant after bad health inspection

By Michelle Rindels

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 01:58 p.m. HST, Apr 16, 2014

HENDERSON, Nev. >> Owners of a popular tapas chain with three locations in the Las Vegas area announced Tuesday they would close a branch that recently received a bad evaluation from health inspectors.

John and Tabitha Simmons announced they would shut down the Firefly restaurant on Eastern Avenue in Henderson, while trying to absorb laid-off employees at other sites.

"We based our decision on changing demands and market competition at the locations where our restaurants are located," the Simmonses said in a statement. "Although a difficult one, this decision will enable us to sharpen our focus on our two highest-performing Firefly locations."

They said they also want to focus on new eatery in the works called Tacos & Beer.

The announcement came two weeks after the Henderson restaurant received 38 demerits and a 'C' grade during a health inspection. The score was three demerits short of the number that would prompt an automatic closure.

A follow-up inspection by the Southern Nevada Health District yielded eight demerits and restored an 'A' grade.

The trendy chain, which draws rave reviews on the website Yelp for its sangria and dishes such as bacon-wrapped dates, suffered a major publicity hit last spring when it was linked to a large salmonella outbreak.

Nearly 300 people reported food poisoning after eating at the Firefly restaurant on Paradise Road. Epidemiologists tied the outbreak to chorizo and said it was likely cross-contaminated in the restaurant itself.

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hikine wrote:
Some restaurants gets so busy that they get lax and cut corners.
on April 16,2014 | 01:03AM
onevoice82 wrote:
More likely, it is greed or lack of business that breeds uncleanliness. The owners would not have shut down a "busy" restaurant. The publicity from the poison outbreak sunk them!
on April 16,2014 | 05:03AM
lokela wrote:
Probably was cutting up raw chicken on the same board as the chorizo. Whatever the case training on food prep is needed. Not only there all restaurants. Can't wait to see who gets the red cards here.
on April 16,2014 | 06:34AM
GoldenRule wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on April 16,2014 | 12:30PM
localguy wrote:
More likely too many acutely dysfunctional racist posters, products of the Nei's failing educational system.
on April 16,2014 | 01:37PM
Mei mei wrote:
when are they bringing the grading system here on the Islands??? it is in DIRE needs here!!!! I know a-lot that would not pass!
on April 16,2014 | 04:13PM
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