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Rat Infestation Overruns Washington Heights Chipotle, According to Bitten Employees

Plus, Frenchette is now selling hot chocolate from a vintage van at the Rockefeller Center Plaza — and more intel

Chipotle Becomes First Non-GMO US Restaurant Chain Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Washington Heights Chipotle overrun with rat infestation, employees say

Roughly one month after a man in the Bronx fell through a Bronx sidewalk into a nest of rats, New York City has another rodent-fueled nightmare. This week employees at a Chipotle in Washington Heights report they have been receiving bites from an infestation of rats in the restaurant since at least October. The rats apparently attacked the restaurant’s supply of avocados, which employees first noticed had small bite marks toward the end of summer. Over time, however, employees say the rats became more bold and several workers, including a store manager, have been bitten at the restaurant.

Store employees interviewed by the Post say they tried to alert Chipotle management about the infestation in November, but little seemed to change. The store closed briefly for a cleaning after the store’s general manager was bit on November 23, but workers say the rats were waiting for them when they returned to work. Roughly one week later, the restaurant’s ordering system went down according to employees, causing the location to close indefinitely. A spokesperson for Chipotle disputed the reason for the restaurant’s closure. “The Columbia Presbyterian restaurant located at 4009 Broadway in New York has been mainly closed since November 23rd due to a pest problem affecting the immediate area,” Laurie Schalow, Chipotle’s corporate affairs and food safety officer, tells the Post.

The Chipotle — located at 4009 Broadway, between West 168th and West 169th Streets — has an “A” health rating at the time of writing. A spokesperson with the Department of Health tells the Post that a restaurant inspector and pest control specialist would investigate the restaurant on Tuesday.

In other news

— Chelsea’s beloved speakeasy Bathtub Gin is headed to the Financial District this week for a two-month pop-up, called Bathtub Whiskey. From Thursday to Saturday, the pop-up will serve bacon and whiskey flights, along with several cocktails, from Vintry Wine and Whiskey at 57 Stone Street.

— Acclaimed Filipino chef Nicole Ponseca is set to open a second location of Jeepney, along with a new restaurant called Tita Baby’s, next month in Miami, according to a spokesperson for the restaurants.

— Starting this week, Frenchette will be serving hot chocolate and crepes from a vintage van parked at Rockefeller Center Plaza near the Christmas tree. The van will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily through December, per a restaurant spokesperson.

— Chelsea nightclub Noir recently pivoted to offer brunch and dinner service, with an Asian American menu that includes a sushi bagel and three- and five-course tasting menus. The bar can seat 38 indoors at 25 percent capacity.

— Upper West Side Italian restaurant Cesca was issued an eviction notice by its landlord, who is also seeking $152,069.62 in back payments. Neighborhood blog the West Side Rag reports that the restaurant appears to have been “cleared out” a few months ago.

— The line at the Upper West Side’s newly opened Pastrami Queen stretched longer than the neighborhood’s City MD line yesterday.

— ‘Tis the season:

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