The reverberations of the KFC rat scandal continue. The city has temporarily shuttered The Coffee Shop, the Union Square eatery for the lithe and the trendy, suggesting that it’s not just fast-food joints caught up in the anti-rodent dragnet. (The city has reportedly closed 83 eateries since Feb. 26.)
“After 17 years of business and a clean bill of health, they have decided that we cannot store a sealed jar of olives on the floor, we need rubber gloves in our resuscitation kit, and we must place end caps on our fluourescent light bulbs in our dish area and prep kitchen,” reads a bright orange sign on The Coffee Shop’s door.
The sign blames the closing on the recent rodent infestation at the West 4th Street outpost of Kentucky Fried Chicken. No word on when The Coffee Shop will be slinging mojitos again, but The Real Estate has calls out to the shop’s owner and the Health Department.
UPDATE: Coffee Shop owner Charles Milite tells The Real Estate on Monday afternoon:
“We’re trying to get open as soon as possible. One of my partners is down at the Health Department now filling out the paperwork. We are trying to be re-inspected this afternoon. But if they want to keep us closed, they are going to find things.
“This is entirely due to the KFC thing. It’s completely unfair. No one is thinking this through at all. None of our violations have to do with rats and rodents, but people are going to think that now.”
- Mark Wellborn