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Graham restaurant closed by health department for operating without a food permit

Purdy’s Public House in Graham.
Purdy’s Public House in Graham. skidd@thenewstribune.com

Purdy’s Public House in Graham held its soft opening last weekend.

But there was a problem.

The new restaurant at 10141 224th St. E. did not have the proper permit from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department.

A food permit is required for a restaurant to sell food to the public.

The health department ordered the restaurant closed this week — a sign is posted on the restaurant’s front door signaling the health department has shuttered it — after receiving a tip that the restaurant was open and operating without a food permit.

“Our inspector went to the facility yesterday (Wednesday) and found the restaurant operating with a full menu and the walk-in cooler fully stocked. We closed the facility and posted a closure sign,” said Edie Jeffers, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s communications and community relations manager.

Jeffers said the health department “received a water review application on Feb. 26 but no food permit application” from Purdy’s Public House.

Bryan Purdy is an owner with Purdy’s Public House. He also owns a pub and restaurant with the same name, Purdy’s Public House, in Bonney Lake.

He said he was out of town over the weekend when the restaurant was open and serving diners.

“It was a mistake,” Purdy said.

He said the restaurant was supposed to host a private event. Instead, a manager posted about the soft opening weekend four times from March 15 to 19 on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

“Visit our Graham location this weekend for our soft opening. Open tonight, Saturday open at 4:30 p.m., St. Patrick’s Day open at 11 a.m.,” a March 15 post read on the Facebook page for Purdy’s Public House.

“Stop by our Graham location this weekend for our soft opening, doors open at 4:30 p.m. today and 11 a.m. for St. Patrick’s Day,” read another post from March 16. Two other posts alerted followers of the soft opening. Those posts were shared more than 50 times.

The posts about the soft opening have since been removed from the restaurant’s Facebook page.

Purdy estimates about 20 people were served during the soft opening.

One diner told the News Tribune he visited the restaurant and ordered a meal after hearing from a friend that the restaurant was open. He said the restaurant appeared to be fully operating.

Purdy said the restaurant has not yet submitted its full permit application because the application must be complete, and he’s waiting for a septic inspection to be done. There’s an issue with that report, he said, because a fire destroyed a component necessary for the inspection. Once that issue is resolved, Purdy said he’ll submit the complete application.

What happens next is the typical protocol for restaurants — a plan review is submitted. After that’s approved, the restaurant pays for its permit and then schedules a walk-through with a health inspector. After the inspector visits the restaurant and conducts the walk-through, the business is permitted to serve food to the public.

Operating a restaurant or food business without the proper food permits is unusual in Pierce County, but it does happen.

The health department closed Tacoma’s Spa Odessa’s food service in January after finding it was serving food to the public without the proper permits.

To check for other businesses that have been closed for operating without a proper permit or for health code violations, visit the health department’s website at tpchd.org and select “healthy places” and then “food establishments closures.”

Diners also can sign up for email alerts the health department sends anytime it closes a restaurant.

Purdy’s Public House

Graham: 10141 224th St. E., Graham

Bonney Lake: 17136 Highway 410, Bonney Lake

Sue Kidd has been The News Tribune’s restaurant critic since 2008. She dines anonymously and The News Tribune pays for all meals. Sue is a South Sound native. She writes about new restaurants, openings and closures and knows where to find the best tacos in every neighborhood.


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