As columnist Mary Schmich once said, in life, there are certain inalienable truths: prices will rise, politicians will philander, and – I’m going to add one – you can always count on New York for a good old rat story.
Today that story is of the Upper Manhattan Chipotle food chain rats, who have been feasting on avocados and burritos – and, by the sounds of it – disturbed staff.
At first glance, it might sound like small potatoes compared to when the CDC had to warn against New York’s cannibal rats during the pandemic. Nor does it sound quite as frightful as the starved super rats so desperate to dine out that they threw themselves at horrified New Yorkers who were dining alfresco.
No, today’s rats have been running amok at Chipotle’s Upper West Side location – attacking employees, chewing through wiring systems, and causing the indefinite closure of the restaurant to the public.
“It’s pure chaos every time a rat appears,” employee Melvin Paulino told the New York Post – speaking of the brazen behavior of the rats. Although the restaurant is closed, staff are still regularly coming in to clean in an effort to help stave off the infestation. This includes some pretty serious survival tactics, including stomping rats and whacking them with broom handles.
The infestation was first discovered in the summer, when avocados were found partly eaten and bags of rice bitten through. The rats seem to have developed the same expensive taste for avocados as many New Yorkers – they liked them so much Chipotle eventually had to move the fruit to the freezer to keep the rats at bay.
According to the Post, Chipotle closed the location only after the rats chewed through the wiring of its computer system so badly they could no longer handle orders.