This is a GREAT video. All them cute little critters and the folks all freaking out.
Sorry, but you gotta watch the commercial.
News video showing about a dozen rats running around a KFC-Taco Bell restaurant in Greenwich Village was widely disseminated Friday on TV stations and the Internet.
The footage, taken from the sidewalk through a window, showed the rats running around the floor, between counters and tables and on children's high chairs. The establishment was not open at the time.
News crews flocked to the scene, and onlookers gave a play-by-play as the rodents moved about. When one rat came close to the window, a person on the sidewalk said: "He's coming for his close-up."
There was no answer at the phone number displayed in neon on the store window below the words "We Deliver."
Rats have long been a problem in New York City, with such a dense population and such a large and readily available food supply for the rodents. They are frequently scampering through subway tunnels, rooting through trash, dashing across parks and burrowing into the walls of apartment buildings.
But it is rare to see so many rats congregating in one place in such public view.
The parent company for the restaurant is Yum Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Ky.
KFC/Taco Bell issued a statement Friday saying: "Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our customers. This is completely unacceptable and is an absolute violation of our high standards."
The company said construction in the basement on Thursday "temporarily escalated the situation."
The franchise owner "is actively addressing this issue," the statement said, adding that the restaurant will remain closed until the problem is "completely resolved."
The city Department of Health had inspectors at the site on Thursday and again Friday, said department spokeswoman Sara Markt. She said the restaurant had passed inspection several months ago, with only a note of warning about "droppings."