After battling an infestation of German cockroaches, Café del Soul, May Lee’s Chinese Cuisine and Starbucks, have reopened for business in the 247 Shoreline Highway shopping plaza.
David Smail, health inspector supervisor at Marin County Environmental Health Services, visited the premises on Oct. 31 and ordered that the three establishments be temporarily shut down until the roaches were exterminated.
Café del Soul, which initially called the health department on itself, said after an extensive four-day treatment, Smail visited the shops on Monday, Nov. 5 and gave them the okay to reopen on Nov. 6.
The cockroaches may be gone but so, too, are the customers – at least at the organic café.
“We’re pretty much we’re doing everything we can to survive,” said Café del Soul manager Sandro De Oliveira.
Business has been slow, and employees' hours have been cut in half. Many people don’t know they’ve reopened, he said, and the ones who do may have been scared away. Some of the more loyal customers have even been sending in donations through PayPal.
“Someone steps up and says we will fight for the truth and do it the right way, and it feels like you’re being penalized,” De Oliveira said.
Plaza owner Charlie Elquare said Café del Soul has indeed been the hardest business hit in terms of its customer base.
“I would hope the community is not afraid to come back and see on their own how the shopping center looks,” Elquare said. “I invite them to come back and see for themselves.”
As for cleanup efforts, he said he hired a pest control company to treat the entire building. Each business also had an exterminator treat their own space, along with continued treatments to make sure the roaches don’t come back.
“They were able to knock them out pretty quickly,” Elquare said. “It seems like everything is clear, and we’re in a good place.”
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