Yuckie! Mouse doo-doo at Spankies

Power Lunch?
State health department finds little surprises inspecting big shot hot spot

[Editor s note: When the October Pit came out, many copies were removed from establishments offering them to those interested in reading this article. As a service to those readers, this column will be a standing feature in The Pit's on-line edition.]

COOKEVILLE -- Greek oligarchies were based on . . . the notion that their members were superior to other men, C.M. Bowra, author of The Greek Experience, tells us. Ever wonder where the shakers and movers in Cookeville get the stuff of their power?

Well, a state health department inspector may have found the answer at SPANKIES, 203 E. 9th, the in-spot for city council members, judges and a coven of petty officials who see themselves as members of the ruling good ol boyz and girlz.

If a June 14 inspection report is any indication, mice droppings may be the source of their megalomania. Or, could it be the out-of-date milk in the walk-in cooler? Do they serve cats here?  Dogs don't eat mice--that's animal X Or the chemicals stored above and beside trays? These and 15 other violations at SPANKIES are cited in the Tennessee Department of Health, Division of Food and General Sanitation s supplemental remarks and rabies form No. 127955. The restaurant scored a mere 70 out of a possible 100, the documents show. The problem of chemicals over and beside trays was cited in the second consecutive health department visit, the documents show. The mice droppings and milk problems were corrected right away, according to the documents, and in a visit 10 days later the chemical problem was corrected.

Other food-serving establishments cited in recent visits:
ODIES, 2240 W. BROAD -- With six critical violations on March 14, ODIES bounced back from an abysmal rating of 54 out of a possible 100 to have its permit renewed April 2, 1996.
APPLEBEE S, 1420 INTERSTATE DR. -- An inspector on July 22 found five critical violations, for a total score of only 58 out of a possible 100. All violations were corrected by Aug. 2.
HAMPTON INN, 340 INTERSTATE DR. -- You'd think that only serving a continental breakfast would make it easy to pass state scrutiny, but this place got a score of 65 out of 100 after an inspector found five critical violations on July 1. They were corrected by July 11.
BARBWIRE, 980 S. JEFFERSON. AVE.-- On Aug. 7, the state cited this restaurant for four critical violations among others, resulting in a score of 66 of a possible 100. All violations were corrected by Aug.19.
OCHA RESTAURANT, 16 W. 7TH -- With a rating of 68 on March 22, this establishment corrected its three critical violations and had its permit renewed July 17.
EAST SIDE CAFE, 428 E. BROAD ST. -- Sixty-nine may not be a round number, but the March 13 rating cited in state documents included three critical violations. The restaurant had its permit renewed Aug. 29.
CHINA STAR, 1120 NEAL ST. -- Closed temporarily by the state in November 1993 for being what an inspector called very nasty, this restaurant on Sept. 12, 1996, received the best rating it has gotten since that year -- 72. All critical violations were corrected on that date.