Kent Pizzeria Forced to Closed Half Their Doors

Story By: Pamela Marotta

Ramella’s a local pizzeria in downtown Kent has been forced to close their doors due to a safety hazard the Kent Health Department discovered during a building inspection. Ramella’s has two buildings that are connected, the pizzeria and the spy night lounge. There is a window that is located on the inside of the building that connects to both buildings. This window is used for people to place orders to the pizzeria while in the spy lounge. Ramella’s must address this issue or they will lose their occupancy permit.

According to the Kent Health Department this window is considered to be a safety hazard and needs to have flame proof shutters in order to have the building re-opened. One of the major questions that continues to be brought up is “Why is this window an issue now when multiple other businesses never had any inspection problems with it?”

Window in Ramella's that is considered to be safety hazard.
Window in Ramella’s that is considered to be safety hazard.
Kevin Long, The Pufferbelly Manager
Kevin Long, The Pufferbelly Manager

I spoke with Kevin Long, manager at The Pufferbelly across the street from Ramella’s and he doesn’t understand how this window can be an issue to the health department.”I have worked here for 29 years and have seen multiple businesses in and out of that building with no inspection problems,” Long said.

Business is hard enough as it is and than you have to deal with closing your doors for this.
-Kevin Long,
The Pufferbelly Manager

Kent’s Health Department Chief Sanitarian Justin Smith says that with the city having a new Health Commissioner comes a different mindset on what is a safety hazard and what is not. “Different eyes bring in a different thought. A different health commissioner has a different idea of what public health is to the previous health commissioner.” The window in Ramella’s was most likely not a safety hazard to the previous health commissioner than it is now.

Justin Smith, Kent Health Department Chief Sanitarian
Justin Smith, Kent Health Department Chief Sanitarian

When I asked Smith why this window is such an issue he could not give any information due to an upcoming court date. “Unfortunately, I cannot comment on that matter at this time,” Smith said. Smith went on to tell me that when inspecting buildings and a violation occurs the best way to go about the violation is to fix the problem immediately so you do not have to risk holding a suspension or losing your occupancy permit such as Ramella’s did.

Manager of Ramella’s Spy Lounge, Angela Monepennie was unable to make any comments regarding the issue until it is addressed in court within the next few weeks. However, Tyler Kieslish an employee at Ramella’s commented on how they used that window when Mug’s was next door.

Tyler Kieslish, Ramella's Associate
Tyler Kieslish, Ramella’s Associate

I don’t know why this is an issue now, I just don’t know.
-Tyler Kieslish,
Ramella’s Employee

Ramella’s is taking the city of Kent to court to fight for their doors to re-open and for this violation to be revoked. The court date is scheduled to be within the next couple of weeks. Unfortunately, no information is allowed to be given out by the city of Kent’s Law Department or Kent’s Health Department and Ramella’s doors will remain closed until this case is resolved.

Court case summary report against Ramella's.
Court case summary report against Ramella’s.