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Georgetown gourmet grocer Dean & Deluca closed for rats and roaches

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Local,DC,Food and Drink,People,April Burbank

Live roaches and mice droppings around the cheese section were among eight critical code violations cited by the D.C. Department of Health when it shut down the upscale Dean & DeLuca food store and cafe in Georgetown.

The business, at 3276 M St. NW, was shut down Wednesday afternoon but reopened about 1 p.m. Thursday.

The inspection report also cited "live birds, rat droppings and mice droppings" found inside the cafe, mold in the chute of the ice machine and cold foods stored at incorrect temperatures.

Dean & DeLuca spokeswoman Michelle Lehmann said the health code violations were "primarily due to issues in our open-air cafe that arose from major construction next door."

The cafe remained closed Thursday afternoon, and Lehmann said the store would temporarily move the cafe's espresso bar inside.

Most shoppers approached outside the Dean & DeLuca store on Thursday afternoon were unaware of the inspection and the store's temporary closing.

"We were looking for a little bite to eat, but we're not going to go back there," said Larry Feld, who had stopped by the store with his wife.

Others said the news would not stop them from shopping at the store in the future.

"I haven't really noticed anything previously, but I would say that it's not that uncommon around here to have those kinds of conditions -- not to say that it's acceptable," said Jenny Blau, who shops at Dean & DeLuca occasionally. "I would just hope that they reinspect more frequently."

Najma Roberts, public information officer for the Department of Health, said the inspection was prompted by a complaint the department had received. Before the store reopened, she said, it had to pay a fee for a second inspection when all critical violations had been addressed.

Restaurant closures because of health violations are not uncommon in the District, but Roberts said the Georgetown Dean & DeLuca had not had such a closure dating back to 2009, which is how far the department's online records go. Roberts was not able to immediately determine how many restaurants on average are shut down each year.

Dean and Deluca Health Inspection Report by

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