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Little Sichuan Re-Opens Following Rodent Problem

The restaurant was allowed to re-open by the San Mateo County Health System on Thursday, after being shut down June 21 due to the presence of rodents.

 

Chinese restaurant at 168 E. 4th Ave. in San Mateo was allowed to re-open for business Thursday after being shut down by the San Mateo County Health System since June 21 .

Reportedly, the operators of Little Sichuan had been hard at work placing rat traps around the kitchen and ceiling areas and cleaning rodent droppings around the restaurant in an effort to re-open.

However, twice after being shut down, environmental health inspectors from the County denied the restaurant's operators permission to re-open, after visiting the restaurant and - first on Friday, June 29 and again on Monday, July 2, according to Robyn Thaw, public information officer for the County Health System.

Interestingly, several San Mateo Patch readers wrote in, stating that the operators of the restaurant were explaining the reason for their closure as "kitchen remodeling," both in speaking to customers who dropped by the restaurant not realizing they were closed, and also in a sign on the restaurant's front door.

To that, Thaw said, "We have no knowledge of what the restaurant tells their customers or the public."

When Patch called the restaurant, employees refused to comment on the restaurant's closure.

In , roughly 90 percent of readers who voted said they would not visit the restaurant again, even if it was allowed to re-open.

 

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June Bell July 05, 2012 at 11:00 PM
What does "reportedly" mean? How does the reporter know what the employees were doing if she didn't get quotes or comments from any of them? An editor should have flagged that graf and required a clarification before publishing this piece.
Jennifer van der Kleut July 05, 2012 at 11:06 PM
June - this is what the environmental inspectors told the public information officer, and what she in turn told us at Patch.
Vicki Moore July 06, 2012 at 01:33 AM
"... roughly 90 percent of readers who voted said they would not visit the restaurant again, even if it was allowed to re-open." I won't go back after having dinner there. There was something leaking onto the carpet making it smell horrible! So horrible I tried to get my friend to leave. Something was wrong with the food - I can't remember what, but they wouldn't offer any solution.
K July 06, 2012 at 01:41 AM
I think they were comments on the original article. My coworkers and I went several days last week and they told us 'kitchen remodeling' as well, and kept saying they'd be open the following day. On Thursday, it became 'maybe next week'.
Linsey July 06, 2012 at 07:06 AM
I don't understand how they didn't take care of this problem before it got to the point of no return. As many readers are disgusted by the rodents problem and many are not going back, I feel really bad that this restaurant won't make it after it opens again. Though I haven't eat at this place before, I don't even want to try it out now that I know that health dept. had to shut them down. I think the restaurant's image is badly damage no matter who owns or manage it now. Unless the building owner demo the old building and rebuild another one, people are not going there. That's the only thing I think that can bring confident back to the people that the rodents problem is gone forever not somewhere in their plate. Omg, I don't even want to think about food now.
Moe July 06, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Linsey, I agree with every point you made; I have been to this place before (two years ago) and I can tell you that this place should have been shutdown at that time, the windows were filthy and the floor looked to have never been washed and were patched together in places, the ceiling looked like its been through a couple of wars (on the losing end, no less); the wait staff reflected this vibe, they really didn't care to be working there and it showed. I don't blame them a bit, clearly the owners didn't put any money back into this place. They wanted to have minimal expenses to keep the doors open; guess that tactic put them in their place. The writing was on the wall when 'Joy Luck Place' revamped to 'Champagne Seafood Restaurant' and opened its doors with a beautiful decor, crown molding, big screen TVs, new evertying. LS being just a block away should have done a remodel also to keep up with the Jones', or the Chen's in this case. Champagne should be a model for all restaurants to follow, not just Chinese restaurants; However, you will seldomly see a chinese restaurant put money back into their restaurant for upkeeping and remodeling, if you go to China, its the total opposite, many of restaurants take pride in their food and appearance, it's a shame that sentiment is not mirrored here in the states; but there are some diamonds in the rough, but few and far between. Be safe and just say, "No" to MSG.
Linsey July 07, 2012 at 06:50 AM
I just passed by this place tonight going to another restaurant, and i saw a tour bus right at their door with people in and out of this place. I guess they have no idea what just happened last week when they were shut down. What a bad impression would that be for the tourists coming to San Mateo? Of all the restaurants around, they choose that one. I believe the tour bus get their commission for bringing people to dine at their place. Too bad for the tourists.
Moe July 07, 2012 at 10:29 AM
Just goes to show, if there is a dollar to be made at someone else's expense, that dollar will be made. The tour bus company sure would benefit from this. pitty... this is why I have a hard time "liking" sales people, they would tell you anything to get that sale. I plan on heading into that restaurant and asking the workers there as to why they were closed down. I am sure I will not get the truth. I bet I'd get the same type of answer when I ask if there is any MSG in my food that they served.

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