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Sep 17, 2009 04:47 PM

Mouse in the restaurant's dining room.... [moved from Manhattan board]

Let's say you were in a restaurant, a little after 12 midnight, patrons still dining, and a mouse ran in and around the dining room a few times....manager says this is NYC, what do you expect.....what say you - is that while unfortunate a not unheard of event - or would it make the place a no-go in your book ? Let's say further that the price point is mid-level to high, and place is enjoying a buzz at the moment.....not least on CH......

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  1. From your title, I thought the mouse was in YOUR dining room. Manager is lucky someone didn't shriek and disturb everyone (in other words, lucky I wasn't there). The manager's attitude, as much as the mouse, would cross it off my list.

    1 Reply
    1. re: oya

      I amended the title in light of your comment!

    2. I wouldn't go back. If there is a mouse running about the dining room, I hate to imagine what's going on in the kitchen. Maybe there's a whole family running about the kitchen.

      1. I've had mice in my house, once had a chipmunk. Mice and other rodents will come to food and water. Restos have those things and, depending on their location, may have dumpsters etc. out back. A siren's song. It wouldn't bother me in the least. I'd laugh a lot. And, please, I hope this doesn't go along the "should I have been comped?" vein. NO!

        12 Replies
        1. re: c oliver

          Being comped was not my question or my interest. I wasn't at the resturant myself but but heard this account, (and it did influence my decision of where to eat). And I wondered what other CHs would make of it.

          1. re: angelaangel

            Oh, I wasn't implying you re the comp. But there does seem to be contingent who look for comps any chance they get :)

            I'm curious why one mouse one time would have influenced your decision. I'm not challenging you just asking. They're just a fact of life, I feel.

            1. re: c oliver

              Realistically - I accept that mice will be wherever people, food, warmth are. But I'd rather not pay for the experience. Also I would have shrieked like a maniac (the motion scares me) - something the world can do without having to hear, especially in proximity to wine glasses which would shatter !

              1. re: angelaangel

                I'll admit that when my husband and I were trying to "herd" the chipmunk out of our bedroom, there was plenty of shrieking on both our parts but that was our irrational selves. I'm not going to deny myself the pleasure of a good meal because of it. But to each her own :)

              2. re: c oliver

                Yes - I see what you mean re: looking for comps - I wondered if that was what the manager was afraid of. In the account I heard, everyone in the dining room noticed, and the comps would have really added up!
                On a semi-related note, a few weeks back a bat got into our place, and my husband had to deal with it (it didn't bother him. He felt bad for the bat and he thinks bats are cute. He shooed it out the window.) He's British, so there was the stiff upper lip, spirit of Dunkirk thing. (I unhelpfully point out the British lost at Dunkirk)....but the bat made it to safety:)

                1. re: angelaangel

                  You are kidding. Comps all around for a mouse in the house? The mgr. should charge extra for the petting zoo. Catch 'em if you can.

                  1. re: Veggo

                    LOL I'm thinking they should break out the Fondvoodoo pots.

            2. re: c oliver

              I'm with you. I used to work at a place that was called "(name) Ranch." It was, in fact, a ranch. It was spotlessly clean, but mice come with the territory. There were also deer and snakes, but fortunately, they stayed out of the kitchen.

              1. re: manraysky

                Sounds like my experiences in Banff. It was a regular occurrence to have striped ground squirrels running around the dining room. And we couldn't really do much about it, because it's a national park. No killing animals allowed.

                One night, one squirrel got into the kitchen through the open back door. We chased him around and thought we got rid of him, but then in the middle of service one of the other chefs opened the walk in fridge and there he was. Sitting on the lid of the stock container, with an onion in his paws, eating away. Ended up cornering him under a shelf in the fridge. One guy put on the big thick gloves we had for cleaning the fryer and grabbed him. Or actually it was a mutual grabbing. The guy had the squirrel's tail in his right hand and the squirrel had his teeth firmly dug into a finger of the glove of the left hand. And the squirrel was returned to the forest...greasy and with onion breath.

                1. re: Sooeygun

                  We were in a VERY high-end store in Banfff (looking not buying) some years ago. A staff person told us about the day a moose strolled in, ambled around inside the store (everybody went stone still as they didnt want him to freak out and destroy the store) and then sashayed back out again.

                  1. re: c oliver

                    sounds like he was a bit more graceful than the Cincinnati Whole Foods deer:

              2. re: c oliver

                Whoops! I posted under the wrong reply. I was responding to c oliver.

                I agree! Although I wouldn't want to see it running around the dining room, I'm certain I've eaten at places that have had mice ( and far, far worse pests). Things happen. As long as it isn't *in* my dish, I probably wouldn't be that worried.

                My mother, on the other hand...

              3. One of the major problems with American health departments is they exclude animals from restaurants. If there were a cat or a terrier on the premises, the mice would stay away!

                Seriously, while it's true a restaurant that's dirty will tend to become infested, a single mouse does not an infestation make. The little suckers move quick, are hard to exclude (they can fit through a gap the thickness of a dime), and range far afield in search of food, water, shelter, warmth, and mousy entertainment. The manager should have been more solicitous, but it just isn't that big a deal.

                1 Reply
                1. re: alanbarnes


                  You have some country boy in you. I identify strongly with that.

                  A terrier for the rats, a cat for the mice, and a herding dog or three. Sounds like life in the country.

                  Repeated mice would chase me away, 1 wouldn't. I have a friend who has waited tables at some of the big ticket restos in the Napa Valley. His biggest gripe was the mice that found their way into the dining room.

                  The place is located on the edge of a vineyard. Mice are simply a fact of life.

                2. I respect the taste of a small rodent who knows where to go, without the benefit of a gourmet website called Chowmouse. The resto would move up two notches on my list.