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03.20.2007

RESTAURANT DECLARES WAR ON RODENTS

"We're at war!" says owner of Fish. "There are more rats in the city than there are people."

New York, NY - March 20, 2007 - In the second of two reports on rodents in NYC restaurants, Inside Edition's Rat Patrol discovers that it is not just fast food franchises plagued with vermin. The report will be broadcast Wednesday, March 21st 11:30 AM on WNYW FOX FIVE. (Check local listings for markets other than New York City).

The popular Greenwich Village eatery's FISH, located at 280 Bleecker Street and Gobo, located at 401 Sixth Avenue are both experiencing the same problem, vermin. The rodents were discovered when Inside Edition's Rat Patrol took to the streets of Manhattan between 1:00 AM and 4:00 AM over the course of a week.

The owners of some restaurants declined to respond to Inside Edition's report. However, the owner of FISH had the opposite reaction and invited Correspondent Matt Meagher in to discuss the problem faced by many of New York City restaurants.

"We're at war. There are more rats in the city than there are people," says Ed Taylor, owner of FISH.

After seeing Inside Edition's findings Taylor, who says his customers, are his number one priority, closed down his restaurant to make repairs to ensure there would be no more late-night visitors.

"We haven't found anything, but we're prepared. If he's here, I'll catch him," Taylor says.

In part one of the two part series, Inside Edition showed rodents having the run of the place at the popular Times Square restaurant Brazil Grill. Cameras captured four rodents, at least one climbing through what appeared to be crates of clean glasses.

During business hours at the restaurant, an employee told Inside Edition the problem had been handled saying, "We don't have a problem here. The restaurant is very clean. Everything is taken care of."

Inside Edition brought its cameras back to Brazil Grill at 4:00 AM the next night and while it appeared management was trying to address the problem by pulling away rubber mats and floorboards, the restaurant was still not rodent free. Inside Edition cameras caught two rodents scurrying around the eatery's floor. On two separate occasions Inside Edition cameras also caught rodents at a Burger King on Fifth Avenue near 36th Street, located just a block and a half away from The Empire State Building.

Inside Edition also found rodents at a Dunkin' Donuts/KFC on Seventh Avenue at 50th street and a Dunkin' Donuts on Second Avenue at 58th Street. At the Second Avenue store, Inside Edition cameras caught rodents desperately trying to reach food left in an overnight glass case.

The owner of the Dunkin' Donuts on Second Avenue at 58th Street told Inside Edition he was unaware of the problem and has pest control in the store every week. He said based on Inside Edition's findings he now plans on inspecting the store himself late at night.

In total Inside Edition witnessed rodents in a dozen Manhattan eateries including:

•· · Brazil Grill, 787 8th Ave. (48th Street) (Response above)

•· · Dunkin' Donuts, 1093 Second Ave. (58th Street) (Response above)

•· · KFC/Dunkin' Donuts, 761 7th Ave. (W. 50th Street)

•· · Burger King, 401 Fifth Ave. (E. 36th Street)

•· · Arte Pasta, 81 Greenwich Ave. (Between Bank and West Eleventh)

•· · Papaya King, 179 E. 86th Street (Third Ave) (Response below)

•· · Va Bene, 1589 Second Ave. (82nd Street)

•· · Cosi, 498 Seventh Ave. (37th Street) (Response below)

•· · Fish, 280 Bleecker Street (Jones Street) (Response above)

•· · Gobo, 401 Sixth Avenue (Between 8th Street and Waverly Place)

A Spokesperson for Cosi told Inside Edition, "We take this matter seriously and have programs and procedures to maintain the highest level of safety for our guests..." The company also said they have a rigorous weekly maintenance program for every one of its restaurants.

Papaya King's President, Daniel Horan, told Inside Edition that mice are a citywide problem that restaurants grapple with everyday. He adds, "During seventy-five years in business, we have continuously maintained and exceeded all city health requirements," and says "food is kept in secure storage facilities that is safe and sealed from all contamination. To this end, we stand by the quality and safety of our restaurants."

After Inside Edition alerted Dunkin' Donuts' corporate office, they say they immediately sent a team to further inspect the franchise restaurants in question and resolve any outstanding issues.

Other restaurants contacted by Inside Edition have not yet provided comment.

Inside Edition cameras captured vermin in thirteen or 12% of the 109 restaurants they visited.

All of the restaurants in the report can be found at http://www.insideedition.com/

Click Here to View Picture from KFC/Dunkin Donuts located at 761 7th Avenue (W. 50th Street)

Click Here to View Picture from Dunkin Donuts located at 1093 Second Avenue (58th Street)

Click Here to View Picture from Brazil Grill located at 787 8th Avenue (48th Street)

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