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‘What a joke.’ Pittsburgh restaurant owner says his business was shut down for having the wrong type of fridge

PITTSBURGH — A Bloomfield restaurant owner claims the health department has unfairly shut down his restaurant after four decades.

Rocky Mori told Channel 11 his restaurant, Rocky’s Cafe, is closed for no reason and that it’s a joke the health department slapped a notice on the front door.

It all has to do with a residential refrigerator, which he says he was allowed to have.

Click here to read the full food safety assessment report from the Allegheny County Health Department.

“I have a refrigerator that’s keeping the correct temperature ... and no health violations on the food,” Mori said.

However, health department officials said he is in violation because he doesn’t have a commercial-grade refrigerator -- something the health department addressed at a hearing in December 2019 when they ordered Mori to fix the need for it, according to their paperwork.

Mori, on the other hand, told Channel 11 the health department verbally told him he could continue to use his residential refrigerators until they broke.

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Mori said he has been forced to spend nearly $1,000 on a special cooler in order to comply with the health department.

He also said it’s impossible to get a commercial refrigerator through his doorways because they are too narrow.

Rocky’s was allowed to reopen Friday after getting a sandwich cooler installed in his restaurant.