East Vancouver restaurant cleared to reopen after rat allegedly found in soup
A trendy East Vancouver restaurant has been cleared to reopen, after a social media video allegedly showed a woman finding a dead rat in her soup.
Inspectors with Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) cleared Mamie Taylors to reopen on Saturday, a day after the agency had ordered the restaurant and commercial kitchen in its basement closed.
That commercial kitchen, which remains closed on Saturday, is where Crab Park Chowdery — the restaurant where the dead rat was allegedly found — prepared its product.
“We investigated, we received a complaint related to a rat being in the soup, we talked to the folks at the Chowdery and as a result they advised that the soup was prepared off-site at a secondary kitchen,” said Carrie Stefanson with VCH.
“So when our inspectors went into that premise, they did notice evidence of rodent activity and as a result closed down that bottom portion. They have done their investigation and determined it’s sufficient to open the restaurant, but the bottom remains closed.”
Inspectors descended on the restaurant on Friday after the Instagram video of the rat being spooned out of a bread bowl at the Chowdery went viral.
WATCH: Rat allegedly found in chowder bread bowl
Mamie Taylor’s owner Ron Oliver said his restaurant’s upstairs open kitchen and the downstairs commissary are “completely separate.”
“It’s not like we were sharing staff or sharing ingredients or sharing cooking space,” he said. “Everything was separate.
“It’s nice to feel like I’ve been vindicated, it wasn’t us that was the problem, but at the same time yesterday was a very difficult day.”
Oliver said before his restaurant could reopen, the “mess that was left” in the basement needed to be cleaned up, which staff took care of Saturday.
He said while his business wishes the owners of the Crab Park Chowdery well, they have “100 per cent” severed their relationship, and won’t be renting out the commissary again.
“Renting a space to somebody, in the end it’s my building, I’m responsible, but renting a space you kind of expect things to be kept one way and maybe in this case it may or may not have been,” he said.
View this post on Instagram
!!!!OPEN!!!!OPEN!!!!OPEN!!!! . So as I'm sure you've all seen on social media we had a bit of a hiccup with our tenants. We now have no tenants and the VCH has cleared us for service! See you this afternoon starting at 1:30pm. Tonight the margaritas will flow. Thank you for the support Vancouver! . . . #open #mamietaylors #chinatownyvr #chinatowneats #yvreats #foodieyvr101 #foodieyvr #feastvan #feastvancouver #comfortfood #americancooking #vancouverchef #foodcouver #huffposttaste #foodstagram #vancouverrestaurant #vancouverrestaurants #vancouverisawesome #dailyhivevan #dishedvancouver @dishedvancouver @kimkardashian
As for how a rat could have ended up in a pot of soup, Oliver said it’s “hard for me to believe” it could have happened on his property, but he stopped short of questioning the story of the women who claimed to have found the rat.
“That’s up for you guys to decide and social media to decide,” he said.
The exact circumstances surrounding the alleged rat discovery may never be known.
Crab Park Chowdery owner Donald Ashton Phillips told Global News he didn’t actually see it himself, as it was thrown out by staff.
Global News has requested an interview from the women who posted the now-viral video of the rat.
But Vancouver Coastal Health says its investigation has wrapped up for all intents and purposes.
“How it got there, we’re never going to really know exactly,” said Stefanson.
“But suffice to say we looked at what the health concerns are, and there was evidence of rodent activity, and as a result the action was taken to close down that commercial preparation area.”
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.