Hooters of Warwick closed Aug. 3 for remodeling, according to their Facebook page, but the Rhode Island Department of Health’s (HEALTH) findings of July 25 was the reason for their voluntary closure.
HEALTH received a complaint and followed up with a thorough investigation of the facility on 667 Airport Rd. Ernest Julian, chief of the office of food protection, said Tuesday that investigators found “rodent droppings and mice infestation.”
On a phone interview, a Hooters employee was asked if the renovations were related to any food or safety violations and replied, “No, not at all. It is a well-needed facelift. But they don’t tell me much.”
A national Hooters public relations representative did not respond to calls.
HEALTH met with corporate and Julian said the restaurant agreed to a voluntary closure with major renovations and exterminations. Julian said Hooters would also need to thoroughly clean and sanitize the place.
He said they need to “get rid of where the mice were hiding, eliminate food and eliminate how the rodents are getting in.”
Hooters, with more than 430 locations in 28 countries, is a sports bar and restaurant that serves American food. Hooters are commonly known for their wings and female staff with revealing uniforms. The Warwick Hooters initial filing for licensing was in June 1993. It has since changed ownership twice, most recently in 2007. Warwick Wings, LLC is listed as the owner.
According to the report, Hooters had 12 violations that day. Among them being the walk-in cooler with a leak that was held at 45 degrees, the state’s standard temperature for ingredients requiring refrigeration is 40 degrees. It was reported to have a foul odor possibly from chicken dripping onto the floor, and the to-go containers were stored on a shelf with mouse droppings. Hooters has had one other violation incident in April this year.
Hooters’ Facebook page states they will re-open for football season or sooner.