Oak Bluffs coffee shop closed, then reopened, after inspection


Updated 3:55 pm, Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Mocha Mott’s, a popular coffee shop in Oak Bluffs, was ordered closed by health agent Shirley Fauteux September 23, after she noted 12 violations of state and federal food safety regulations on an inspection report.The violations included food kept at dangerously warm temperatures, flies, and dirty equipment.

Ms. Fauteux noted in a report posted on the town’s web site, “entire restaurant unsanitary, told to close at end of day.”

The restaurant voluntarily closed its doors, according to the report. The establishment passed a subsequent inspection on September 25, reopened, and has remained open ever since.

“We felt like we’ve done our best to do what they asked us to do, and we did in this case,” Mocha Mott’s owner Tim Dobel said. He said he considers most of the violations minor infractions that did not endanger public health. “Mostly what it was, was just cleaning up after a long, busy summer, which we were slated to do anyway. I don’t disagree the place needed a good thorough cleaning. Our infrastructure is old, and it’s hard to keep spotless.”

Mr. Dobel said Mocha Mott’s will close for three weeks in February for substantial renovations to the counter area and kitchen, a project that was planned well before the most recent inspection.

The latest inspection report comes soon after a controversy over food inspection at another restaurant, Fat Ronnie’s Burger Bar, just across Circuit Avenue from Mocha Mott’s.

In that case, health inspector Ron Tolin noted eight violations of the food code in an August 29 inspection. He later resigned in protest when the board of health declined to follow his recommendation that the restaurant be closed.

Oak Bluffs began posting all food inspection reports online this spring.

This article was updated to add the comments of Mocha Mott’s owner Tim Dobel.