VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - A Virginia Beach restaurant that closed Tuesday following a health inspection that uncovered a rodent problem will reopen.
The Health Department returned to the Waffle House at 5656 Indian River Road Wednesday and gave the restaurant the all-clear to reopen.
Dobson Pest Control, which the Regional Manager confirmed comes every week since there was a rodent siting in August, was back out at the restaurant Wednesday morning setting traps.
WAVY.com received a photograph of four rats on the floor of the Waffle House restaurant at 5656 Indian River Road. A follow-up inspection of the restaurant was initiated Tuesday and the owners voluntarily closed Waffle House's doors.
During the inspection, specialists discovered an opening in an outdoor closet that could allow rats into the restaurant through the roof. The rats could climb through a closet hole, up a back wall, across the ceiling and back down into the restaurant, where a worker took a picture of four of them scurrying across the floor and sent it to WAVY.com.
"I was devastated," the worker who wished to stay anonymous said. "I think it is unbelievable. We are serving customers here ... we see the rats and rat feces and rat urine."
WAVY.com visited the restaurant and spoke to "John," a manager. John asked to be spoken with outside, where he grabbed a WAVY camera and said, "Man stop filming me. I know nothing about the rats."
Additionally, the picture was shown to Waffle House Regional Manager "Curt," who also refused to provide his last name.
"I can not comment on anything," Curt said. Curt referred all calls to corporate communication to Waffle House Corporate Headquarters outside Atlanta.
"They do admit they had a sighting in August ... I spoke with senior management at that Waffle House and he has assured me there is not a rodent problem," Kelly Thrasher with Waffle House Corporate Communications said.
The Virginia Beach Health District inspected the property Aug. 20 and mentions nothing about rodent problems on the property.
Thrasher says she can only assume the photo of the rats is "an older photo."
Environmental Health Specialist Dan Horne confirms to WAVY.com the owners decided to close the restaurant's doors temporarily until the rodent problem is solved.
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