Cockroaches discovered at Butch's Old Casino Steak House
Courtny Gerrish reports Video by tmj4.comvideo
MILWAUKEE- TODAY'S TMJ4 first heard about problems at a local steak house from a former employee. Health inspectors then paid them a surprise visit and almost shut the place down.
Butch's Old Casino Steak House is on the corner of Michigan and James Lovell just west of downtown. It's been around for years and offers an old fashioned atmosphere.
Samantha Mathy is a former employee and claims she quit after 7 months telling TODAY'S TMJ4, "a blind man could see all the stuff that was going on there." Mathy says she left for a number of reasons, including what she calls "disgusting conditions."
Things like food being reused. "Whenever customer's get done with the relish trays to 'quote, unquote' conserve food they throw it back into the bin." Mathy contacted TODAYS TMJ4, because she didn't feel the health department was doing enough. "I could have just walked out and been like 'this place is gross I'm leaving,' but I would have been a part of that problem."
So instead she took pictures with her cell. Pictures of stagnant water in coolers where Mathy claims food was kept. Also, pictures of cockroaches, "I found cockroaches. I found droppings of whatever animal or critter had been there."
Mathy told TODAY'S TMJ4 Butch's reportedly gets a day's notice before its health inspection allowing them to clean things up in time. "The reason why they didn't get written up is because they come when they're closed. I think that should be a warning sign to the health department."
She contacted the health department, and we also passed along her concerns. That lead to a surprise inspection by the inspectors at the end of June. What they found at Butch's lead to a warning. Clean it up or the steak house would be shut down.
We went to Butch's to ask about those violations. Things like a cook handling customer's food in the salad prep area with bare hands. Inspectors also found dead roaches and rodents and droppings throughout the restaurant, including behind the bar and under a wine cabinet.
One of the cooks and person in charge, Bill Bernard, agreed to talk, outside. "We've got everything pretty much under control" he told us. "We clean the coolers, clean whatever, the floors, we do it all."
But Butch's was written up for not keeping the dining area clean enough. Bernard's response, "yeah that's another thing we're working on to." Bernard also told us he doesn't know what lead Mathy to complain, even though health inspectors verified some of her concerns. Like the rodent and roach problem; Bernard says they come up through the pipes when the weather gets hot.
When asked if Butch's is reusing food Bernard told us, "no, we've been throwing it away ever since." TODAY'S TMJ4 was not allowed to see the kitchen, but Bernard told us customers have nothing to worry about.
When the health department wrote up an "Intent To Suspend" one of its big concerns was preventing a possible food borne illness at the restaurant. Butch's was re inspected last week. They cleaned almost everything up and won't be shut down.