Gastown chowder restaurant says rat incident 'doesn't add up'
The owner of a Gastown restaurant featured in a viral social media post purportedly showing a rat being lifted out of a bowl of chowder says it doesn’t believe the event happened as depicted.
Ashton Phillips says Crab Park Chowdery and its staff has conducted a full investigation – involving testing the buoyancy of a rodent in chowder as well as the possibility of fitting a rodent in a bread bowl – and has come to the conclusion that a rat couldn’t have gotten into their food in their kitchen or as a result of staff actions.
"For us, we've done the research, we've done our investigations into it and we just don't see how it's possible," he said.
Phillips says the muted reaction of the girls in the viral video also seemed suspicious to staff.
As a result of the incident, the offsite kitchen Crab Park Chowdery used to prepare its food was closed by Vancouver Coastal Health. The restaurant was also evicted from the commercial kitchen it was using to cook its soups.
But Phillips says he feels the restaurant was made to be a scapegoat by the owners of its commercial kitchen space.
"They made us out to be the bad guys and that's unfortunately how they decided to go down the road with it," he said.
The off-site kitchen is owned by restaurant Mamie Taylor's.
"Restaurants aren't meant to be messy, especially when you're preparing food. It's very important that cleanliness is of the utmost importance. There were a few issues about keeping things tidy and organization that were addressed and dealt with, but were continually ongoing," said Ron Oliver, the owner of Mamie Taylor's, last week after the incident.
Vancouver Coastal Health says the off-site kitchen is still closed.
"We just want everybody to know we've done everything possible we can to get to the bottom of it," said Phillips.