Danny Bowien and his partners have filed a lawsuit against his former landlord at Mission Chinese Food over the severe mouse infestation that led to the restaurant's closure. Bowien is suing building owner Abraham Noy for at least $500,000, for leasing him the Lower East Side space when it was not actually up to building code, and for then refusing to make any repairs to it. The result was a mouse infestation so bad the the restaurant was shut down twice by the Department of Health, causing what the lawsuit describes as "immeasurable harm to [the restaurateurs] reputations and brand."
According to the lawsuit, Mission Chinese was slapped with several Buildings and Health violations over circumstances beyond its control. The backyard dining room was built illegally before Bowien and his partners Anthony Myint, Gregory Wong and Dennis Kim signed the lease, but they were nonetheless fined for the violation. And when an exterminator hired by the restaurateur investigated, he supposedly found a "cesspool" of dead mice and sludge in a storage closet the restaurant did not have access to.
When the restaurateurs finally shut down space in an attempt to revamp it, Noy still demanded that they pay two thirds of the rent, on top of the cost of renovations. Bowien has long given up and begun searching for a new space to open Mission Chinese, but is still fighting to get out of the original lease. Amid all this turmoil, it's still uncertain when the restaurant will reopen, but in meantime Mission Chinese live on in pop-up form in Brooklyn and now Manhattan.
· Mission Chinese Sues Landlord Over Mouse Infestation [DNAinfo]
· All Coverage of Mission Chinese Food [~ENY~]