There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
1205 Rhode Island Ave. NE
Closed: March 23
Reopened: March 29
History: No violations listed in city records dating back to 2000.
Health Department Says: Operating a food establishment with gross unsanitary conditions and a vermin infestation.
Business Says: We aren’t even a food establishment. “We just sell food like candy and canned goods and things like that,” says manager Moe Bangora. Still, rodents somehow found sustenance inside. “[The health inspector] saw rat droppings, and they asked us to get people out to take care of that,” Bangora says. “We did.” The store never closed entirely; it was simply prohibited from selling any of the candies or canned goods until the health department could come out and do another inspection. Bangora says the shop handled the situation immediately, but the health department’s actions weren’t as prompt. “We were [unable to sell food] for a week because they did not get somebody to come back out,” he says. And in that week, Bangora complains, the store lost quite a bit of candy revenue.