A popular restaurant in St. John's has temporarily closed its doors, following a government inspection that turned up a number of health and safety problems.

The Swiss Chalet restaurant on Kenmount Road closed last week following an inspection that identified a pest problem, as well as structural and sanitation issues.

Other tenants in the same building are not reporting any pest problems, but said rats have been seen in the area since the foundation was dug nearby this fall for a new hotel.

Swiss Chalet would not comment on the closure, but said it was made voluntarily and not ordered by public officials.

"Recent weather conditions and significant construction in the vicinity of this restaurant disrupted local habitats," Swiss Chalet said in a statement to CBC News.

"This is the busiest time of the year for the restaurant — despite this however, the restaurant will remain closed until the company is satisfied that it is ready to be reopen," the statement said.

Businesses in the same building are reporting a drop in foot traffic since Swiss Chalet closed.