Popular Portuguese chicken joint shut down by Quebec government

Food inspection authorities shut down Rotissserie Romados for a month — a move its owner hopes to have overturned quickly.

Inspectors from Quebec's agriculture and food industry showed up at the popular Portuguese eatery on Rachel St. last Thursday at lunchtime, and without warning, told the customers inside to leave.

The restaurant was fined three times last year for cleanliness violations, and issues related to the temperature of its fridges. The owner, Manny Machado, told the Montreal Gazette that those issues have been resolved, and suggests he's being targeted for some reason.

The closure notice says there were issues with cleanliness — employees not washing their hands and using unsanitary equipment to prepare food, and traces of rodent droppings on the floor. The notice also says one of the restaurant's fridges had been kept at warmer than 4 degrees Celsius.

Machado says the fridge was replaced only last month, and that his restaurant has never been cleaner.

He and his lawyers are set to go before an administrative tribunal on Friday, in the hopes of having the closure order overturned. He says he's losing about $10,000 a day that he's not open — a figure which could put the business in jeopardy if the order is not lifted.