The Mad Greek temporarily closes for cockroach infestation

photo by: Dylan Lysen

The Mad Greek, 907 Massachusetts St.

A popular downtown Lawrence restaurant was temporarily forced to close earlier this week for a cockroach infestation.

The Mad Greek, 907 Massachusetts St., closed Monday after a state health code inspector found 30 live roaches in various locations between the restaurant’s basement and kitchen, according to the state’s health code inspection reports.

The roaches were present despite the restaurant using sticky traps to catch pests and paying for a recent pest treatment, for which the restaurant manager showed the health inspector an invoice. However, the manager noted that the restaurant was considering changing pest control companies.

In light of the inspection, the restaurant closed for the remainder of the day to bring in a different pest control company to address the issue.

The following day, Tuesday, the health code inspector conducted a follow-up inspection and did not find any roaches, allowing the restaurant to reopen, said Heather Lansdowne, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Agriculture.

In a statement provided to the Journal-World, restaurant owner Deb Tagtalianidis confirmed the closure of the restaurant and said the pest control company the restaurant had been using for the last four years had been trying to address the issue with “little to no progress.”

She said the restaurant was working to update its pest control plan, including contracting with a new pest control company. The restaurant also intends kitchen renovations in early January to replace old and aging walls with stainless steel.

“At The Mad Greek we care deeply about our customers, employees and community and will always address any issues with our whole heart,” Tagtalianidis said in the statement. “This is a family business, and we treat it as if it is an extension of our home.”

Lansdowne said the restaurant would be subject to another follow-up inspection in the near future because of the roaches, but it will not be done in the department’s typical time frame. Generally follow-ups are within 10 business days of the out-of-compliance inspection.

“In this situation, however, (the restaurant) discovered that their pest control management plan needs revision, so they are working on those changes to their pest management plan and the follow-up won’t take place until those revisions are done,” Lansdowne said.

The Mad Greek opened in 1988 at 1408 W. 23rd St. and moved in 1993 to its current location.

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