British Columbia

Crab Park Chowdery closing for good, weeks after rat allegedly found in soup

Crab Park Chowdery announced the closure in an Instagram post on Wednesday night.

'We truly can't thank everyone enough for the love, support and well wishes,' read a post from the restaurant

A video posted on Instagram Dec. 27 appeared to show a dead rat inside a bread bowl of soup at the Crab Park Chowdery in Vancouver's Gastown neighbourhood. The restaurant has since announced its closure. (Instagram/pisun_ne_ne)

A restaurant in East Vancouver is closing down for good, less than a month after a rat was allegedly found in a bowl of soup served to a customer.

Crab Park Chowdery announced the closure in an Instagram post on Wednesday night.

"We truly can't thank everyone enough for the love, support and well wishes we've received over the last two years and most recently over the last few weeks," read the post, which said the restaurant will close Sunday.

"We know that with our heads held high and a can-do attitude the next chapter will be an even better one."

On Dec. 29, a video posted by a customer showed what appears to be an emaciated, dead rat inside a bread bowl of soup.

Vancouver Coastal Health inspectors visited the cafe to investigate and, ultimately, allowed it to stay open.

However, Mamie Taylor's restaurant and a commercial kitchen in the same building — in which the chowdery's soup was made — were shut down after inspectors found evidence of rodents.

It was allowed to reopen a day later.

The chowdery has repeatedly said the rat incident couldn't have and did not happen.

"We've conducted a full investigation into the recently reported incident ... and have unequivocally concluded there is no way this incident could have happened in our kitchen or a result of any actions by our staff prior to being prepared and served," read an Instagram post from Jan. 1.

Ashton Phillips, owner of Crab Park Chowdery, said many people were suspicious about the authenticity of the video, but that staff apologized to the guests immediately after the alleged find and offered them a $100 gift card.

"Unfortunately, when a mistake happens in today's world, when it gets into that social media world, the ball starts rolling and it's really hard to stop," Phillips said in December.

CBC News has reached out to Phillips for comment on the decision to shut down.

Ashton Phillips, owner of Crab Park Chowdery, said it is nearly impossible for a rat to climb into the large cans the restaurant keeps their soup in. (CBC News)

Video authentic, diner says

Contessa Choe, the woman served the soup, told CBC News there was nothing fake about the video.

"It's not like it was planned, like any of us was keeping [a rat] in our pocket to be put in the soup to be on camera," Choe said in December.

Choe said her friend, who posted the video, is a visitor from Ukraine and wanted to document her trip to Vancouver.

Contessa Choe said she originally thought the rat allegedly found in her soup was a large clam. (CBC)

With files from Tanya Fletcher, Liam Britten and Bridgette Watson

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