Press Bistro closed

The Press Bistro in the Central Park Complex in downtown Johnstown was temporarily closed by Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Bureau of food safety and laboratory services on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, after an inspection.

The Press Bistro in the Cambria County Central Park Complex is temporarily closed by order of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Bureau of Food Safety.

A food safety inspector found cockroaches in the restaurant Friday morning after following up with a complaint, Bureau spokeswoman Shannon Powers said.

Press owner Jeremy Shearer said he believes a disgruntled employee made the complaint, because the insects documented by the Bureau were found in places only employees would know to look, he said.

Although the report reads as if the roaches were found in the open, Shearer said the bugs were in hidden places.

"They were definitely not out in the open. The issue was definitely not ignored," he said. "We exterminate on a weekly basis. By and large, we have high marks on our inspection reports going back seven years."

The Bureau's closure inspection report for the Press Bistro states numerous roaches were found: "six live roaches in the condenser of the prep unit in the cook line... one live roach crawling around the spigot under the dishwasher and one live roach crawling around the motor of the dishwasher...eight dead roaches behind the bar, three dead roaches behind the register area and two dead roaches by the handwash sink. Also noted were numerous old, dead roaches in the prep unit's condenser in the cook line."

A condenser is a refrigerator, Shearer said. The phrase "in the condenser" means inside a compartment of the back of the machine that is routinely cleaned out once a year, he said.

The restaurant will remain closed until it is inspected and the issue is resolved. Shearer said he expects the restaurant to reopen on Monday.

Shearer also attributed the cockroach issue to the building's age.

The complex was originally the Glosser Brothers department store built in 1903. Currently, it is a county-owned complex that houses not only Press but also various county offices, two magisterial district court offices and a Rent-a-Center.

A sign left on Press' door Friday informed customers of an “infestation beyond our control in the Central Cambria Complex ... The issue is being addressed by our landlord (the Cambria County Commissioners), and we will be reopened on Monday.”

A statement from Cambria County Solicitor Bill Barbin, representing the county as the landlord read: “The Central Park Complex has routine monthly pest control maintenance. The County will continue to provide maintenance, and will assist the restaurant to find the source of the problem.”

Russ O'Reilly is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @RussellOReilly.


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