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Capitol Cafeteria Closed

March 10, 1999
By: David Grebe
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - If you think Missouri lawmakers are a little strange - it might be the food. The Office of Administration shut down the Capitol's cafeteria citing "health risk" and "critical areas concerning food."

The Cole County Public Health Department inspected the facility - known as the Hawthorn Room - earlier in the week. Health Services Director Ivah Scott-Braun said an inspector found some problems - but didn't order the facility closed.

Inspectors were not available to give details about the cafeteria's problems.

"We don't know why - we did everything they asked us to, but they closed us anyway," said one cafeteria employee.

Only a few lawmakers regularly dine at the cafeteria - which draws much of its clientele from the ranks of lobbyists and wayward tourists.

"I've only eaten there once, it seemed fine," said Rep. Ryan McKenna, D-Barnhart. "Of course, I'll eat almost anything," he added.

"I don't care what anyone says, they have great vegetable soup," said Bekki Cook, Secretary of State. Cook said later she might think twice about trying it again.

The facility is closed indefinitely.