As New York City moves into Phase Whatever, diners of all kinds have begun to return to restaurants—but mostly humans and rats.
If this year has been hard for humans, it’s been even harder for rats. They, after all, don’t have the benefits of grocery delivery, unemployment, or PPP loans. Back in May, the CDC warned humans that the rats had grown so desperate, they’d resorted to cannibalising rival packs and eating their own young. But now that the restaurants are open, happier days are here again.
Hunger has made the rats uncommonly bold. “Last night, a customer had a baby rat running on his shoe,” Giacomo Romano, the owner of Ciccio, an Italian restaurant in SoHo, told NBC New York. “I let you just imagine his reaction.”
Romano is among a group of business owners who have been lobbying the city for improved rat control, including more garbage cans and rat traps. Overall, there were fewer rat complaints in the city this past spring than in other years. But that may be about to change.