Mamie Taylor's reopens, severs ties with chowdery after rat allegedly found in soup
Less than 48 hours after a viral social media post purportedly showed a rat being lifted out of a bread bowl, Crab Park Chowdery has been evicted from a commercial kitchen which it used to cook its soups.
Ron Oliver, owner of Mamie Taylor's, said he is severing ties with the chowdery.
Vancouver Coastal Health inspectors closed Mamie Taylor's on Friday as it reviewed the commissary. The next day, it gave the restaurant the greenlight to reopen.
"It's nice to feel like I've been vindicated, it wasn't us that was the problem. But at the same time, [Friday] was a very difficult day," Oliver said.
The claim first came to light Thursday after a social media user posted the video.
"Today my friend ordered Manhattan clam chowder and (it) had a little surprise in it," the poster wrote.
The short video prompted a swift reaction online, and resulted in several complaints to the health authority.
Crab Park Chowdery did not have to shut its doors, but its off-site kitchen, which operates out of the same building as Mamie Taylor's, remains closed.
Oliver didn't mince words when he accused the chowdery for having an untidy kitchen. He said the situation has made it clear he cannot lease the kitchen to other businesses and expect that they will uphold the same standards.
"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," he said.
He emphasized that Mamie Taylor's does not use the same commercial kitchen in the basement but operates out of its own facility on the main floor.
On Friday, Crab Park Chowdery owner Ashton Phillips told CTV News he's been struggling to understand how something like this could have happened.
"We're kind of in shock over it all," Phillips said. "We've gone through rigorous, rigorous amounts of work to make sure that we offer the best possible health and safety standards."
Vancouver Coastal Health confirmed there were signs of rodents – droppings, specifically – during an inspection at Crab Park Chowdery back in February, but it appears the issues were addressed the same month.
A follow-up inspection conducted on Feb. 23 no longer found any issue with rodents, nor did later routine inspections conducted in April or October.
Philips has not responded to requests for an interview Saturday.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Breanna Karstens-Smith