An Iconic Montreal restaurant has been forced to close its doors due to city health code infractions.
Rôtisserie Romados has been at the corner of Rue de Bullion, and Rue Rachel East for decades, a staple of the Plateau borough for authentic Portuguese rotisserie chicken. But rather than service delicious chicken and sandwiches to locals and travelers alike, Romados’ doors have been closed for over a week.
The restaurant was shut down by City of Montreal Food Inspectors for one month after numerous health code violations, including the presence of mouse feces and refrigerators that were kept too warm.
According to The Montreal Gazette, health inspectors arrived at lunchtime on Thursday and ordered all patrons to leave the restaurant. After clearing out, the doors were locked as inspectors remained inside to notify the owner of the violations that required the restaurant's closure for 30 days.
Store owner Manny Machado was dismayed at the forced closure, telling The Gazette that he felt “betrayed” and “targeted” by city officials.
In their closure notice, health inspectors city a May 15th inspection that found evidence of rodent excrement present at the restaurant. They also cited a refrigerator that was kept at 4 degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) above the required temperature.
Additionally, the inspectors noted an employee not washing their hands correctly, another not switching out gloves often enough during the day, and a general lack of sanitation on “the equipment and the materials used to prepare food.”
Machado estimates he may be losing as much as $10,000 each day the store remains closed, with the potential loss of $300,000 enough for him to declare bankruptcy.
Although the health infractions sound serious, the Montreal Eater notes that the forced closure for 30 days is on the extreme side for city officials. They cite a sushi restaurant that was merely fined $2,500 in 2015 for the presence of “decomposing mice, mold, and rotting seafood”, while another Japanese restaurant wasn’t even fined at all for “a lot” of rodent feces.
Machado plans to contest the closure at a tribunal later this week.