Wooden Shoe receives improved health code rating

By Sandy Rose Schwieterman - For the Sidney Daily News

WAPAKONETA — The Wooden Shoe Inn in Minster received a satisfactory rating at the July meeting of the Auglaize County Board of Health. The rating comes after concerns regarding health code violations.

Remediation work has earned the historic restaurant the improved rating and owner Fred Meyer says he will continue to move forward on improvements.

The business at one point had been facing a three-month food license suspension over repeated health code violations. At Board of Health meeting a few months ago Meyer was able to convince the members to allow him two probationary periods to make repairs.

Now that their status has been upgraded, Meyer said they will continue work on improvements in the kitchen and also start work in the public areas.

He described the kitchen improvement work as having three phases. First, starting with the tile floor. “Work will begin next week to caulk the cracked tiles so the floor can be cleaned properly,” he said.

Then, after Octoberfest, Meyer said the second phase will be work to clean and repair the kitchen ceiling, “even if we have close a couple of days to get it done right.”

For the rest of the year, he said third phase repair work will focus on the kitchen walls where workers will repair or replace damaged sections of walls and remove all wood work surfaces. The latter ban on wood preparation areas involves the difficulty in cleaning them.

Work on public and outside areas will also continue.

For example, Meyer said some painting on the outside of the building will begin in the next few weeks.

Inside, Meyer said the will be striping and waxing the black and white floor tiles in the bar area. He said the distinctive floor’s checkerboard pattern was part of the Wooden Shoe image he wanted to keep, along with the Art Deco bar.

To get all the planned work done, Meyer said they will continue to open at 4 p.m. each day, although cleaning crews and his staff arrive at noon to work on projects.

“I kind of cringe when someone comes to the door at lunch time, but opening later gives us time to prepare,” he said.

Walls, chairs and tables have already steam cleaned, old equipment like a non-functioning cooler and steam table removed. Coupled with current repair work, the Health Department’s gave the Wooden Shoe a satisfactory cleanliness rating and an inspection schedule reduced to four times per year.

Environmental Health Director Curt Anderson said that they will maintain that schedule for one year and see if inspections can be reduced to the usual two annual inspections after that.

Meyer thanked the board for their patience and kindness in allowing him time to set things right at the restaurant.

By Sandy Rose Schwieterman

For the Sidney Daily News

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.