Margaret Kuo's in Wayne closed for health violations

A well-known Main Line restaurant has been temporarily closed for health violations after being given six hours to correct the infractions.

Margaret Kuo’s in Wayne was shut down Tuesday by the Radnor Township Health Department. A routine inspection on Monday afternoon uncovered unsanitary conditions, insect/rodent infestations, and food code violations, according to an inspection report.

Other violations include water leaking over an electrical box in the walk-in refrigerator area, and the need for a thorough cleaning of the walls, floors, shelves, and cooking surfaces, as well as walk-in refrigerator and freezers.

Township Manager Robert Zienkowski would not comment when reached by phone, but in an email sent to township commissioners on Tuesday at 2:44 p.m., Zienkowski said he made a trip to the restaurant.

“After going through the facility myself with our inspectors and members of our staff, I was quite disturbed at the awful condition of their establishment,” he stated. “Margaret Kuo’s will remain closed until they make all the required corrections.”

Health Officer Larry Taltoan did not return calls or emails seeking comment.

When reached by phone, Kuo said she was working to correct the issues but has never seen any evidence of mice in her facility.

“I am very, very on top of this type of thing,” she said, adding this is the first time one of her restaurants has been closed. Kuo said she has been in the business for more than 30 years.

Previous inspection reports dating back to 2014 showed the Lancaster Avenue restaurant to be in “overall compliance.”

Kuo said the restaurant has routine visits from a pest-control company and provided two 2017 reports dated May and June from Wilson Pest Control. “Sanitation Good!!!” the May report stated. “Sanitation A1!” the June report stated. The company could not be reached for comment.

Kuo said a plumber was at the site on Wednesday and corrected a leaking pipe.

The inspectors gave the restaurant less than six business hours to correct violations, said Kuo’s husband, Warren, who said he was “baffled” by the closing.

Warren Kuo said two new inspectors accompanied longtime township employee Taltoan, who signed the reports.

“I think they were trying to send a message,” said Warren Kuo.

The Wayne restaurant is one of four operated by Kuo; the others are in Media and Malvern, and at the Lancaster Farmers Market. In 2013, Kuo’s Wayne restaurant received three bells from Inquirer food critic Craig LaBan.