Delray restaurant closed 3x in less than a year

Posted at 11:39 PM, Feb 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-26 09:28:41-05

The Italian food at Cucina Fra Diavolo (14414 S. Military Trail) in Delray Beach keeps the customers and roaches coming back again and again.

We were told they were too busy to speak with us about the roach problem. The pests closed the doors twice in two weeks.

The second time, a sign told customers a leaky pipe closed the doors.

When we checked the back door of the restaurant, that's where we found the orange sticker warning customers to stay out until the roach problem is fixed.

During the Feb. 2 inspection and closure, an inspector found roaches in shelves and near an ice cream freezer.

An inspector found live roaches crawling on the food prep table and others chilling inside a cooler. The state report shows more than 30 roaches were found in the restaurant during the Feb. 19 inspection.

"Wow that's interesting," a customer told us when we showed him the inspection report. "If I see them that's a problem. If I don't see them I don't know about them."

The state first knew there was a roach problem here last May. The owner told the state he'll increase pest control, and asked for a reduced fine so it wouldn't hurt his business. He told the Consumer Watchdog there were just a few roaches and they are everywhere.

He was fined $650, and never paid it or previous fines dating back to 2014.

The restaurant is also facing another fine for not renewing its license in time. Even with a delinquent license, they can still open their doors. The owner said he'll eventually renew the license and pay the fine.

Diners say it's the food that matters to them.

According to the state's database, Cucina still has not reopened. The state last closed it on Feb. 19.

Click here to see what inspectors found in your favorite restaurant.

For the latest inspections in South Florida kitchens, follow Jenn on Facebook and Twitter.