Risky health violations in restaurant inspections at Dupont Circle, Bethesda, Fairfax, & Prince George's County

10:30 PM, Jun 7, 2012   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) - This week's 9 Wants to Know Restaurant Report is exposing some of the grossest violations at some of D.C.'s toniest destinations including Bethesda and Dupont Circle.

Rats, roaches, and mice

Rats, roaches, and mice are among the violations we identified in restaurant suspensions for the week ending June 1 in the District, Fairfax, Prince George's, and Montgomery Counties.

In the Dupont Circle area, we found two suspensions resulting in temporary closures.

Strong odor of rodents

The white tablecloths at City Lights of China, 1731 Connecticut Avenue NW, were temporarily upstaged by the restaurant world's scarlet letter, a closure notification citing unsanitary conditions that "may endanger the public health."

Inside City Lights of China the walls are plastered with glowing reviews from Washingtonian Magazine and Zagat, but problems health inspectors found inside fill up three pages of the inspection report.

It cites "a strong odor of rodents" and signs of "mice, and roaches throughout the food prep area" and "unclean" conditions including floors with "dirt, grease, rodent droppings, food particles, utensils, and standing water."

No running water

Just down the street at Shake Shack, 1216 18th St. NW, inspectors say they walked in while the diner was operating without running water, resulting in a suspension and closure until water service was restored.

No certified food manager

In Fairfax, officials shut down Tippy's Taco House, 11210 Lee Highway, saying the duty manager wasn't certified in food safety.

No hot water

In Takoma Park, inspectors say operating with no hot water caused a suspension at 7-Eleven, 900 Merrimac Drive.


In DC, inspectors cited "vermin" in the shutdown of Mehak Indian Restaurant, 817 7th St. NW.

"Live rat that ran down steps"

At China American Inn, 845 Upshur St. NW , officials suspended the restaurant not only for operating without hot water, but because of rats.

The report cites a "live rat that ran down steps" during the inspection.

Supermarket rodent infestation

In Temple Hills, officials closed the Evergreen Supermarket on Iverson Street for a rodent infestation. 9 Wants to Know snapped a photo of what a store employee agreed appeared to be mouse feces and a chewed up bag.

White tablecloths and roaches

Finally, in Bethesda, officials report another suspension at a white tablecloth restaurant that's been listed as one of Washington's best, Divino Café and Lounge, 7345 Wisconsin Avenue.

Inspectors suspended Divino's, citing a "severe cockroach infestation."

In Prince George's County, health inspectors shut down five roadside food stands that were operating without licenses.

Except for the food stands, all the establishments passed subsequent reinspections and are back to normal operations.

Know about closures first

If you want to be first to know about closures, follow Investigative Reporter Russ Ptacek at Twitter.com/russptacek or Facebook.com/russptacek.

Whether you know about health dangers, corruption or government waste, 9 Wants to KNOW. E-MAIL US AT tips@wusa9.com.

Complete listings:

Evergreen Supermarket. Rodent infestation.  2346 Iverson St Temple Hills, Md

7-Eleven, Operating without hot water. 900 Merrimac Drive, Takoma Park, Md

Divino cafe & Lounge Severe. Cockroach infestation. 7345 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Md

City Lights of China. Vermin and risks to public health. 1731 Conn. Ave NW Washington, DC

Mehak Indian Restaurant. Vermin infestation, 817 7th St. NW, Washington DC

Shake Shack Operating. Operating without water. 1216 18th St. NW, Washington, DC

Tippy's Taco House Manager. Manager on duty uncertified in food safety. 11210 Lee Highway, Fairfax, Va

China American Inn. Vermin, operating without hot water. 845 Upshur St. NW, Washington, DC

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