Radnor Township

Roach Infestation Closes ‘Top' Main Line Chinese Restaurant

Restaurant cleans up days after infestation is discovered following complaint

Roaches crawling on equipment and onto patrons' plates caused the closure of a Main Line eatery, once named the top Chinese restaurant in the country.

Radnor Township health and building officials closed Yangming, at County Line and Conestoga roads in Bryn Mawr, on Tuesday. The closure came after the restaurant called police over a customer dispute stemming from a teenage girl twice being served a roach, said police.

A teenager had found a roach in her noodles and complained on Friday, said Radnor Police. When the waiter brought a new set of noodles, it also contained a roach -- discovered while the girl ate the dish -- causing the parents to demand that the manager give them a gift certificate. The dispute escalated after the family found the compensation to be insufficient, said police.

When officers arrived around 4 p.m., "there were roaches that were in plain sight" in the kitchen, said Radnor Police Lt. Andy Block.

Local health officials then shut down the restaurant until it was disinfected, said Block.

"We had a situation where the kitchen was unsanitary due to some infestation of insects," said township health officer Larry Taltoan. "I did see some insects in the food facility and in some places there shouldn't be any."

The restaurant said the closure lasted only an hour -- health inspectors claimed the closure lasted a few hours -- and that they cleaned up the insects before reopening for the weekend.

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On Tuesday, inspectors closed down Yangming -- a health citation placed in the front window listed "Gross Facility & Equipment Sanitation" and "Insect/Rodent Infestation" as reasons for the closure.

A handmade sign placed below the bright orange violation stated, "Closed on Tue. 8/18/15 for Renovation."

Alan Nguyen, manager of the restaurant, told NBC10 the roaches crawled in through a damaged vent in the kitchen, which wasn't broken when Yangming passed inspection back on July 29.

The restaurant said they updated their out-of-date HVAC and exhaust systems and also made improvements to meet fire regulations. They also removed and cleaned equipment. Nguyen said they spent around $12,000 on repairs.

"We're very concerned about customer safety and food safety for the restaurant," he said. "We've been there for 25 years." 

The eatery, popular among Main Liners and area college students, has a history of praise. In 2011, Yangming beat out about 45,000 other eateries to top Chinese Restaurant News’ “Best Chinese Restaurant” list.

Yangming planned to reopen for business on Wednesday, but it could take longer. Taltoan said the restaurant must first pass a detailed inspection to make sure its in compliance with the state health code before it could serve food again.

Police didn't expect to file any criminal charges.

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