'Mummified rat' cited in DC restaurant closure

2:15 PM, Dec 30, 2013   |    comments
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Washington, DC (WUSA9) -- A Washington restaurant was temporarily closed down after inspectors found a "mummified rat" in its kitchen.

WUSA9 tracked down the man behind three Maryland and DC restaurants with health violations so risky, inspectors have closed all three, at least once, and over the past few weeks, in Georgetown and Tenleytown, two were suspended a second time.

Inspectors temporarily closed Prince Cafe, 4627 41st Street, NW DC and Prince Cafe, 1042 Wisconsin Avenue, NW DC. in December and November closures. Both had been closed before for health violations and has the College Park location.

Unless otherwise noted, all the restaurants passed re-inspection and are back in business.

Our caught on camera video begins in Georgetown between M Street, NW and the Waterfront at one of three Prince Café's.

The Georgetown location is the one where inspectors cited a "mummified rat."

The exact citation: "mummified rat inside the kitchen" among 18 violations at the Georgetown Prince Café and Hookah Bar.

Owner, Ehab Asal, initially agreed to talk with us about the repeat Georgetown closure and a repeat closure at his Tenleytown location last month which cited flour exposed to mice droppings and no hot water.

Inspectors also ordered the Tenleytown location on 41st just of Wisconsin Avenue, NW closed last year citing dead roaches in light fixtures and again, no hot water.

And last year, inspectors closed another Prince Café in College Park.  While the store was under a closure order our undercover producer purchased, but didn't eat, a chicken-spinach plate to go.

Asal blames this month's closure at the Georgetown location on a large construction project across Wisconsin Avenue.

He agreed to let us look in the Georgetown Prince Cafe kitchen but when WUSA9 pointed out what looked like rat droppings,  his hospitality did not last long.

Asal asked WUSA9 to stop filming and go outside.

Asal would not address the mummified rat cited in the health department report but said he is doing everything they can to improve the situation here and at the other stores and they're getting regular visits now at all their stores from an exterminator.

Prince Cafe in Georgetown and Tenleytown passed re-inspection and reopened.  Prince Cafe in College Park remains closed for food service.

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