Belfast Caffe Nero re-opens after video of rats running amok prompts refurbishment
The Belfast branch of well-known coffee company Caffe Nero has re-opened after it underwent essential maintenance following footage published by this newspaper showing rats running amok in the early hours.
The Donegall Square West branch of the popular coffee shop was closed after the footage emerged which was filmed by a couple who spotted the rodents while returning from a night out.
Caffe Nero said it was an isolated case.
It was filmed on Tuesday, July 7 at around 1.30am by a couple who were walking through the city trying to get a taxi home after having been out for dinner and drinks.
As they passed the store they spotted something moving out of the corner of their eye.
"It was out of the corner of my eye I noticed one rat on the floor and then eventually another one, and I watched them climb up the counter and in behind the coffee machine," one of the couple said.
It was thought Caffe Nero would be closed for up to five weeks as it underwent a refurbishment. At the time a spokeswoman confirmed the shop was undergoing a refurbishment but did not indicate when it would re-open.
The footage of the rats sparked concern at the number of rodents in Belfast.
Speaking previously a pest controller told the Belfast Telegraph that it receives callouts to Belfast businesses up to five times a week.
He said the number of rats in the city was on the rise.
Geoff Kennedy from Pestokill said: For example, if you had a male and female rat on January 1 and they have enough food and water and shelter, they could breed to the point where there are 2,000 by the end of that year," he said.
"We would have three to five callouts per week in the Belfast area for commercial pest-related problems."
However he said the root cause of the problem was humans and that everyone has a responsibility in deterring the pests.
He said: "Where there is man there will always be rats. If we are providing them with plentiful supplies of food, they are going to breed and expand in terms of the amount of them.”
Mr Kennedy said everybody had a responsibility towards preventing the rise in numbers.
Caffe Nero have been contacted for a response.