The Spot of Tea restaurant in Mobile has permanently closed and is for sale after it was shut down by the Mobile County Health Department multiple times.

The owner of the restaurant, Anthony Moore, said there had been a decline in service but publicly blasted the health department on social media, accusing workers of extortion, blackmail, selective enforcement, disparate treatment, harassment and discrimination.

On Wednesday, Moore announced he was closing his doors for good.

"It's with a heavy heart & tearful face I must announce we can't reopen," he posted. "I've called the BOH 5 times since Thursday, as they told me to do, and asked for an inspection. Each time they said they'd call me back, but they've [sic] haven't."

Moore continued the post by accusing health department employees of wrongdoing.

"They've extorted me by stealing my food almost daily, demanding I give them my second floor, making me hire relatives (When I fired them, they made me hire them back), personally harassing me, buying them computer & equipment, and so much more," he stated. "I never betrayed the public's trust, but they did, there was nothing to hide but they made my staff think there was. When we couldn't take it anymore and stood up to the bullies, they did just what they warned us they'd do, they shut us down."

The Mobile County Health Department responded to the accusations by telling 1819 News they do not report on active investigations or inspections.

"The Health Department is responsible to review and issue health permits to business in any municipality or city located or operating in Mobile County that require a health permit based on state/county laws," public information officer J. Mark Bryant said in an official statement. "MCHD will inspect health permitted businesses to ensure that the businesses are meeting sanitary conditions to prevent the spread of any bacterial or viral diseases. Our inspectors use this opportunity to educate and document that owners and operators are meeting sanitary practices."

"In many cases, immediate corrections are possible by owners and operators," Bryant continued. "If corrections are not possible in the short term, a business may elect to close to fix the findings or be closed by Dr. Kevin Philip Michaels, Mobile County Health Officer, based on the nature of the deficiency and previous inspection results."

Moore maintains he corrected issues as they were presented to him. He told 1819 News there is more to what happened to Spot of Tea, and he has lost sleep over the past week as he has tried to gather information and organize evidence to prove his claims.

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