Hungry workers in the Loop were confused when they flocked to a popular Chipotle on Tuesday and found the restaurant dark and empty inside. As a sign on the door stated, the license for the Chipotle on Michigan Avenue had been suspended on Monday, September 21.
Update 3:30 p.m.: According to a Chipotle spokesperson, the restaurant passed its re-inspection Tuesday afternoon and planned to open later that day. The Department of Public Health sign was replaced with a “Don’t Panic” sign from Chipotle.
According to the Department of Public Health, the main reason for the license suspension was fruit flies.
“Over 30 flying insects on walls and ceiling,” an official report noted on September 14.
When the Department of Public Health returned on September 21 and found the problem was still present, they closed the restaurant.
“The restaurant was closed after a regular health department inspection identified an operating issue,” wrote a Chipotle spokesperson. “The issue has been addressed and the restaurant will reopen pending re-inspection by the health department, tentatively this afternoon.”
How common is a problem like fruit flies? According to the Department of Public Health, it’s “fairly common.”
A spokesperson with the Department said a problem like this “can usually be resolved quickly with the assistance of professional pest control operators.”
There were a few other code violations on the report, including a lack of certified food managers on duty. Restaurants need someone with a Chicago Food Service Certificate on hand to ensure employees are handling potentially hazardous foods, like chicken, correctly.
The manager at that Chipotle, located at 316 N Michigan Avenue, can request a re-inspection once all the violations have been corrected. A court date for the violation has been set for October 29, though the restaurant will likely be re-opened much sooner than that.