A week after a Pima County judge ordered the beloved doughnut shop closed, Le Cave’s Bakery passed an inspection Tuesday and obtained a new permit. They were open for business Wednesday morning.
“We watched them scrape the signs off the windows that said it was operating without a permit,” county inspections chief David Ludwig said.
Le Cave’s, 1219 S. Sixth Ave., lost its permit last October after missing payment deadlines. It failed six requalifying inspections before Pima County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Bergin fined the bakery and ordered it closed Monday, June 19, and then failed another inspection after the ruling.
However, on Tuesday, Ludwig said substantial work had been completed on replacing a cracked and aging floor that county officials said presented potential health risks. Though the floor has not been entirely replaced, all food preparation equipment is now on new flooring, according to Ludwig. Other outstanding issues had also been resolved, according to the most recent inspection report.
Owner Rudy Molina Jr. said he added roughly 3,000 square feet in new flooring. Photos taken by the health department show smooth surfaces where previously there had been significant cracks, pock marks and other imperfections that made cleaning difficult.
“We’re very ecstatic to be open again, not only for our business but for the Tucson community,” he said, adding that the building “is in the best shape it’s been in in 60, 70 years.”
The bakery’s last routine health inspection was just over a year ago, and Ludwig said another would happen sometime in July. Molina expects to pass it and the ones that follow. He said the series of failed inspections were just the most recent challenge faced and overcome by the decades-old business, which has also survived the arrival of new doughnut shops and national chains. He credited loyal customers for the business’ resilience.
“We’ve always met those challenges,” he said.