TOLEDO (WTVG) -- Before a restaurant can open, it needs to pass a pre-licensing inspection from the health department, regardless of whether the chef or the owner are well-known in town and have been working in the business for decades.
That's the case with the new venture, Souk Mediterranean Kitchen & Bar, 139 S Huron Street 101, Toledo, next to the Erie Street Market.
Chef Moussa Salloukh ran LaScola Italian Grill for 14 years. Now, he's mixing it up with a different style of cuisine.
Not only did Chef Moussa go back to the recipes handed down from his grandmother, he's starting the business from scratch. That means going through the process of submitting blueprints to the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, then passing a pre-licensing inspection before his new establishment can open to the public.
Souk passed its Pre-Licensing Inspection 15-Aug-2019 with zero violations (0 critical & 0 non-critical), then aced its first Standard/Critical Control Point Inspection 15-Oct-2019, again getting zero violations (0 critical & 0 non-critical).
"Yeah, we got off and running," said Chef Moussa. "Most of us have a pretty good relationship with the health department."
According to a spokesperson from the Toledo-Lucas Co. Health Department:
"A prelicense inspection is conducted once the facility is ready to open. It is done to verify that the plans that have been submitted and approved match what was installed in the facility. In addition, the equipment installed is inspected to verify that it's operational and meets the Uniform Food Safety Code requirements. This inspection is required before a new facility can purchase a license."
Another restaurant that recently opened is Moonshine Flats Bar & Bistro, 3150 Navarre Avenue B, Oregon. It passed a Pre-Licensing Inspection 10-Oct-2019 with zero violations (0 critical & 0 non-critical).
General Manager Brad Krejci says everything in the physical space has to match what was put on paper, including the equipment and how it's set up.
"As much as, you know, you want to move around," says Krejci, "It's like being in your house, you're moving in your house. The couch looks great there, but then all of the sudden you're like, 'Aw, I feel like moving the couch.' But you can't move it."
Both Moonshine Flats and Souk are now open for business.