Bad news for LC's fans

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Bill B.
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2010/02/12 09:56:39 (permalink)

Bad news for LC's fans

This is from this morning's KC Star (Feb. 12, 2010). It will make me think twice about going back to LC's, whose barbecue I (used to) really enjoy:
 
http://economy.kansascity.com/?q=node/6076
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    BuddyRoadhouse
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    Re:Bad news for LC's fans 2010/02/12 14:01:46 (permalink)
    Until they are closed down for good, I will continue to be a fan.  Being in the restaurant business, I know that a commercial kitchen will never look like a home kitchen.  I don't care if it's in a dive like LC's or a white table cloth, internationally acclaimed, high end joint like Charlie Trotter's, you simply cannot address cleanliness issues in a working restaurant kitchen in the same way you would your own home.  There are levels of acceptability and that's what the health department is there to determine and enforce.  I've seen plenty of restaurants temporarily closed down, only to bounce back stronger and better than ever.

    Sun Wah BBQ, here in Chicago is a prime example.  They've been around for decades in a small Uptown location, recently becoming the darlings of Chicago foodie site, LTHForum.com.  They were shut down briefly for code violations similar to the ones mentioned in the LC's article.  They cleaned up their act, reopened within a week or so, and six months later were doing well enough to move into a larger, newer, more high profile location.  They were just written up this past week in the Chicago Tribune's "Good Eating" food section.  Their Peking duck and several other stand out dishes were highly praised with no mention of any past health code violations.  I would have no qualms whatsoever about dining at Sun Wah, although I believe I'll wait until the crowds generated by the article die down.

    If LC's is open when we next visit KC, you can be sure I will stop in for a burnt ends sandwich, fries, and an order of their outstanding beans.

    Buddy
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    Bill B.
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    Re:Bad news for LC's fans 2010/02/12 15:22:57 (permalink)
    For me, the worst part of the story was "...a history of repeat critical and non-critical violations." I think the management there has some learning to do. I hope the closing forces a few real improvements. An LC's brisket sandwich is the closest thing in town to what an Arthur Bryant's sandwich used to be, years ago.
    #3
    Pigiron
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    Re:Bad news for LC's fans 2010/02/12 17:15:15 (permalink)
    BuddyRoadhouse

    Until they are closed down for good, I will continue to be a fan.  Being in the restaurant business, I know that a commercial kitchen will never look like a home kitchen.  I don't care if it's in a dive like LC's or a white table cloth, internationally acclaimed, high end joint like Charlie Trotter's, you simply cannot address cleanliness issues in a working restaurant kitchen in the same way you would your own home.  There are levels of acceptability and that's what the health department is there to determine and enforce.  Buddy

     
     
    Is "rodent feces" within your level of acceptability?  It's not in mine!  I adore LC's, but I wouldn't set foot in there again until I saw a clean bill of health. 

    #4
    BuddyRoadhouse
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    Re:Bad news for LC's fans 2010/02/12 19:20:59 (permalink)
    Well, since the health department closed them down, I don't imagine you'll be able to set foot in there until they get a "clean bill of health".

    Buddy
    #5
    1bbqboy
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    Re:Bad news for LC's fans 2010/02/18 09:36:48 (permalink)
    http://economy.kansascity.com/?q=node/6149
     
    Update: L.C.'s Bar-B-Q back in business

    L.C.'s Bar-B-Q has reopened after passing a re-inspection.
    "It's the same L.C.'s, the same great barbecue," said owner L.C. Richardson. "It's as safe as ever."
    The Kansas City Health Department temporarily closed the operation at 5800 Blue Parkway, during a routine inspection late on Feb. 10.
    The operation had multiple repeat critical and non-critical violations and a history of repeat critical and non-critical violations.
    It had one critical violation and five non-critical violations during its re-inspection on Feb. 12.
    For more on KC barbecue visit The long and the short of KC BBQ
    #6
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Bad news for LC's fans 2010/02/18 10:11:34 (permalink)
    I'm not in the restaurant business so this is the observation of an outsider, but...

    If a place got closed down and had to be inspected in order to reopen, why would 6 violations exist during said inspection?  Could it be that the problems are being corrected but the corrections aren't yet finished?  Just seems strange to me; I'd expect the restaurant to have everything fixed.

    Brad
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    BuddyRoadhouse
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    Re:Bad news for LC's fans 2010/02/18 13:45:12 (permalink)
    They could have been different violations, unrelated to the previous ones.  A working restaurant is a living, breathing entity that needs constant attention.  Just because you clean up one set of problems doesn't mean new ones won't pop up.  For the most part, unless the violations present a clear and present danger to customers, the health department will not shut down a restaurant as long as said establishment is making a concerted effort to correct the violations.

    Usually, depending on the seriousness of the violation, there will be a time frame given in which the business needs to correct the problem.  The inspector will come back at the end of the time limit to see what progress has been made.  Again, depending on the type of infraction, the restaurant owner may only need to show that he is in the process of clearing up the problem without actually completing the job.  The inspector will continue to return to the business until the violation has been negated, or the owner has shown no interest in eliminating the problem, at which time the inspector will close the joint down.

    I for one will not hesitate to return to LC's as long as they continue to show due diligence in maintaining their facility to a reasonable degree.

    Buddy
    #8
    Sfreader
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    Re:Bad news for LC's fans 2010/02/18 18:00:47 (permalink)
    I will go back, but I don't think I will be recomending LC's to anyone else until I have been there again.
    #9
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Bad news for LC's fans 2010/02/18 19:58:56 (permalink)
    I will not hesitate to go back to LC's on my next visit to Kansas City.

    sfreader-
    Good to see you back.  I've wondered where you have been.
    #10
    BuddyRoadhouse
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    Re:Bad news for LC's fans 2010/02/18 20:31:29 (permalink)
    Sfreader

    I will go back, but I don't think I will be recomending LC's to anyone else until I have been there again.


    I think that's prudent.  I hope you'll post your findings here at Roadfood.

    Buddy
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    Sfreader
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    Re:Bad news for LC's fans 2010/02/25 11:48:10 (permalink)
    Last night, I drove over to Kansas City, Missouri to revisit LC's Bar-B-Q. Everything was unchanged from my last visit and I wasn't at all uncomfortable eating there.

    I placed my order with a slightly surly lady at the small counter. But any concerns I may have had with the friendliness of LC's were allayed during the nice conversation that I had with the L.C. Richardson, while waiting for my food.
    When he learned that I lived in Olathe, he asked about places where he might open a restaurant in Olathe.

    The reheated leftover ribs this morning were better than most places serve fresh.

    I need to get back there to try a couple more meats and sides, but went ahead and posted a review at http://www.kansastravel.org/kansascitybbq/lcsbbq.htm
    #12
    BuddyRoadhouse
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    Re:Bad news for LC's fans 2010/02/25 13:10:05 (permalink)
    Glad to hear all is well.  Thanks for making the trip.

    Buddy
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