Restaurant Report Card: 20 violations force a Pueblo restaurant to temporarily close


In this week’s Restaurant Report Card, 20 health code violations causing a Pueblo restaurant to temporarily shut down, and another place in Pueblo West with no violations in more than a year and a half. 

A coyote ugly health inspection at Coyote Grill. Located at the Pueblo Nature and Raptor Center, Coyote Grill’s routine health inspection on December 20 revealed 12 critical and eight non-critical health code violations, including:

  • Rodent droppings and dead roaches throughout building. 
  • Box of potatoes with mold growth. 
  • Grime, grease and food debris accumulating throughout facility. 
  • Overall lack of food safety knowledge by person in charge. 

This is why Coyote Grill fails our Restaurant Report Card. 

FOX21 spoke with Scott Cowan, the environmental health specialist who did the inspection. He said there were two main reasons Coyote Grill had to be shut down temporarily. 

“During the inspection we did notice rodent droppings in several areas throughout the restaurant, which indicated there was an active problem, and the facility did not have pest control services contracted at that time,” Cowan said. “And then there was also a hand sink in the food preparation area of the kitchen that was broken and prevented the staff from being able to wash their hands while preparing food.”

Cowan said follow-up inspections usually happen within 10 days. However, Coyote Grill was able to correct most of those critical violations within 24 hours, which allowed the restaurant to reopen on December 21. 

“After the first inspection, Coyote Grill contracted with a licensed pest control company to control the rodent issue in the restaurant, and they also brought in a plumber and repaired the hand sink, and then they also did a very thorough cleaning of the facility,” Cowan said. 

However, three critical violations still remain after the follow-up inspection. 

“The facility has been really cooperative with us,” Cowan said. “They’ve been working hard to get these issues corrected, and at this time those imminent health issues have been taken care of.”

FOX21 reached out to Coyote Grill but got the voicemail. The restaurant was closed when we stopped by, even though the hours showed they were scheduled to be open. 

In Pueblo West, food safety is a piece of cake at Marie’s Restaurant.

“We try to make sure that we’re just always paying attention to all of the little details,” owner Michelle Lewis said. “I have a great management team, a great staff and they all know what their responsibilities are.”

Lewis, whose middle name is Marie, opened up shop about three years ago as a bakery, then added lunch and dinner. 

“The slopper is one of our number one items,” she said. “The sausage sandwich with our sweet potato fries is another one. Those are our two most popular, and everybody loves coming in and getting those. We really just treat everybody like family. Whenever you come in you just feel like you’re normal family to us, and we absolutely love that part of it.”

This is why Marie’s passes our Restaurant Report Card. 

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