Californos fails health department re-inspection

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A team of inspectors with the Kansas City Health Department said Californos Restaurant in Westport has to remain closed after failing a re-inspection Tuesday.

The restaurant had been lobbying to reopen as recently as Tuesday.

In an update to the closing 41 Action News reported on last week, a health department spokesman said inspectors at the restaurant Tuesday still found areas of concern. The inspectors could return as soon as Wednesday for a follow-up visit.

The inspections stem from two events – one catered by the restaurant and another at the restaurant – in late March in which several people reported falling ill.

Dr. Rex Archer from the Kansas City Health Department says that out of the 400 people exposed at two different events, the department has interviewed 231 people. 

Inspectors suspect either norovirus or salmonella could be the cause of the illness, but Archer says they will not be able to pinpoint the exact cause of illness because they were not able to collect stool samples from those who became sick. 

"We believe that it’s the same probably organism at both events because it was the same kitchen and some of the same folks that were involved in the food preparation and serving the food," said Archer. 

Californos has had to cancel several events including a wedding. 

That couple was able to quickly find another venue and caterer. 

The restaurant also canceled Opera Supper, an event featuring classical music from local musicians that is held every third Monday of the month. 

This was the first time in more than a decade Opera Supper was canceled. 

We called Californos to find out when they will reopen, a staff member said it was in the hands of the health department. 

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