Food & Drink

From C to A in 8 days: Uptown restaurant has new plan after low inspection score

Stoke at the Marriott City Center, which includes Stoke Bar and all the hotel food operations, was surprised with a low score on an inspection right before Thanksgiving.
Stoke at the Marriott City Center, which includes Stoke Bar and all the hotel food operations, was surprised with a low score on an inspection right before Thanksgiving.

Eight days after getting a C rating on its health inspection, the uptown restaurant Stoke in the Marriott City Center got an A rating back Tuesday.

The restaurant, which had requested a reinspection as allowed under N.C. regulations, was inspected again and this time got a score of 94.

Seamus Gallagher, Marriott’s director of guest experience, said the restaurant has put new procedures in place. Employees will be instructed to follow a checklist at the beginning of the day and the end of the day, and those checklists, he said, will be doublechecked and scored in-house.

Gallagher said the original inspection, on Nov. 19, came right before the busy Thanksgiving holiday — then said he wasn’t making excuses.

“We just need to own it and get better from it.”

Gallagher said he didn’t have an answer on how the restaurant could get such a low score. On the original inspection, the restaurant got a score of 76 with 15 violations, 10 of them labeled critical. Those included hand-washing procedures, holding and cooking temperatures, dirty equipment and mislabeled or outdated food items. Tuesday’s inspection had six violations, two critical. It’s common for even restaurants receiving an A to have several critical violations that often are addressed — meaning, for example, an employee who hadn’t properly washed his or her hands rewashes them — while the inspector is present.

Restaurant inspections are available at public.cdpehs.com.

“When the inspector came through that day, we just had an off day,” said Gallagher. “There’s no excuse. We were glad she came back so quickly and we could show what we truly are. I wasn’t 100 percent pleased with a 94 — I want a 100 percent (score).”

Kathleen Purvis; 704-358-5236.
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