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Newport Beach

May 04, 2000|Noaki Schwartz, (949) 574-4232

County health officials have ordered Sid's Steakhouse to close, but the popular Newport Beach restaurant's eccentric owner and namesake refuses to shut his doors.

"I'm open [but] it's legally closed," Sid Soffer said. "They can come down and arrest my manager."

The restaurant owner, who has been living on the lam in Las Vegas for more than four years, said he's going to fight the health department's April 10 decision.

City Manager Homer Bludau responded to a complaint from a neighbor "that the place had a lot of flies and smell" and through his own observations was prompted to call the health department.

According to the health department's review, inspectors found rotting food, dirty surfaces, rodent droppings, dead cockroaches and egg sacs on the property. In all, there were 35 violations. Until the problems are remedied, the restaurant is legally closed, according to the documents.

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