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Business as usual as 'rat cafe' Nero is reopened

By Claire McNeilly

Published 09/09/2015

Reopened: Caffe Nero
Reopened: Caffe Nero

The city centre coffee shop that was shut down after rats were filmed running amok on a counter inside has reopened.

Caffe Nero at Donegall Square West was closed five weeks ago after the Belfast Telegraph published footage of the rodents taken by passers-by at night.

The company, which has 13 outlets in Northern Ireland, acted immediately and environmental officers were sent out by Belfast City Council to investigate the premises.

Caffe Nero said it believed the source of the problem was a "disused building adjacent to our store".

While work was being carried out, signage erected outside the building read: 'We are currently sourcing unique fittings and features to help make this Caffe Nero one of a kind'.

And now, following a complete refurbishment, it is business as usual at the cafe, which has been enjoying brisk trade since it threw open its doors at the start of the week.

The YouTube clip featuring the rats was viewed more than 100,000 times on the Belfast Telegraph website.

The original footage 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.

The couple said they filmed the incident at the time as they feared no one would believe them if they reported they had seen rats rummaging around on the cafe's main counter.

The Belfast Telegraph understands that since its reopening the lights in the coffee shop have not been left on during the night, as had previously been the case.

The franchise was founded in 1997 and today has stores across seven territories including the UK, Republic, Cyprus, UAE, USA, Poland and Turkey.

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