New China Wok owner wants to reopen restaurant, insists it's "super clean"

'I'll have the sweet n' sour chicken, hold the mouse crap.'
'I'll have the sweet n' sour chicken, hold the mouse crap.'

Here's news that'll come as a surprise for those of you who read about New China Wok's disgusting mouse dropping issue -- the owner of the joint wants to reopen and insists his restaurant is "super clean, really clean."

SEE ALSO: New China Wok near 50th & France had mouse droppings on food holding table

Located near 50th and France, New China Wok shutdown in late August because of health code violations. That was far from the first time the restaurant had faced that issue -- owner Xiu Ben owes the city more than $17,000 for fines that date back to 2008.

The Minneapolis City Council is moving toward permanently revoking Ben's restaurant license. But in what may be a last ditch effort to save his business, Ben, along with a New China Wok manager and a pest exterminator, are making a case conditions aren't as bad as they seem. (Ben says he'll try and borrow $17,000 from family and friends to pay the fines if he can keep his license.)

Manager Stephanie Ollila told the Star Tribune that "the restaurant is very clean." She blamed New China Wok's mouse problem on the old multi-use building that houses the restaurant, not the restaurant itself.

Ollila's sentiment was echoed by Glen Turnquist, a friend of Ben's who says he provided pest extermination services to New China Wok until a couple years ago.

"I've been in and out of millions of restaurants and I tell you what. There's a ton of restaurants a lot dirtier that what this guy is claiming Ben's is," Turnquist told the Strib.

Either Turnquist isn't telling the truth, or I should stop eating out altogether. Remember, according to a city of Minneapolis health inspection, New China Wok had "slimy mildew" inside its ice machine, dry bulk food and single-serve containers stores in an area littered with mouse droppings, and mouse crap on the hot food-holding table.

Dirtier than that? Perish the thought.

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