South of Chicago Pizza in Fishers closes after Dirty Dining report

FISHERS, Ind. – South of Chicago Pizza in Fishers closed for good following a Dirty Dining investigation. The pizza chain owner said he is focused on improving the Noblesville restaurant.

Last month, the Dirty Dining team revealed the issues the chain was dealing with behind the scenes that prompted them to get more than 80 health code violations in just one week.

An inspector reported finding gnats and flies in the kitchen, pizza dough stored in trash bags and employees not washing their hands. The report also indicates the manager was not present. The latest round of violations added to the long list of issues with the restaurant.

The Hamilton County Health Department gave the restaurant an abatement order on March 24, which required them to fix their violations. Three failed inspections later, the restaurant still had problems.

South of Chicago Pizza in Fishers closed on August 22. A post on their Facebook page made the news official.

“It’s probably a good thing for them to do to concentrate on the one facility and make it the best that they can make it,” said Jason Lemaster, from the Hamilton County Health Department.

Lothamer said he “believes in the brand” and didn’t want both of his restaurants to fail. He said management turnover hurt the Fishers location and he took a financial hit after the FOX59 report. Now, the focus is on the Noblesville location. Lothamer said there’s a new mission and more experienced staff.

Lothamer said the new manager is pushing for good service and consistency.

“They knew they had a problem and they were working on the problem,” Lemaster said. “And it looks like they’re going to be able to achieve that.”

The most recent inspection for the Noblesville restaurant shows solid progress. The eatery went from 19 critical and 30 non-critical violations in July to 5 critical and non-critical violations in August.

“Most of those criticals were actually taken care of on site the day our inspector was there,” Lemaster said.

The health department will continue keeping a close eye on the business to ensure they are on the right track.

“They’ll be on a four time inspection for at least the next year,” Lemaster said.

You can view the latest inspection reports here.