Californos Westport temporarily closed during health investigation

Complaint prompts Californos inspection
Complaint prompts Californos inspection
Posted at 1:35 PM, Apr 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-13 11:43:05-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Health department inspectors are investigating reports of illnesses possibly connected to two events either catered by or held at Californos. 

According to the Kansas City, Mo. Health Department, both events took place on March 31. One was catered by Californos off-site, while the other was held at the venue.

After some reported illnesses, health officials began contacting all 400 people on the guest lists. They've interviewed 70 people so far, and about 50 reported getting sick.

"Right now, there are two events that we're aware of, but sometimes these things grow," Dr. Rex Archer, KCMO Health Director, said.

As a result of initial complaints, health inspectors went inside Californos on April 4. The inspection report revealed 11 critical violations, which included food not being cooked to the right temperature and some not being kept cold enough. Although some of the violations were corrected on site, the health department closed the restaurant's doors.

Californos, opened in 1988, is a family-owned business. Manager Aaron Barksdale-Burns said they're "doing our best" to get the restaurant reopened. He added that they appreciate the community's support and are currently reaching out to notify everyone with events planned for this weekend and beyond.

41 Action News learned a wedding was supposed to be held at the venue on Thursday. The bride and groom were able to find a plan B. From speaking with venues in Kansas City, we learned four other couples are looking for another option as well.