Eli Zabar himself, the owner of the gourmet shop,, was behind the counters directing traffic as his workers frantically cleared out some of the high priced delights that may have been in the path of a rat.
The photograph and video were enough for the city to shut the place down.
It's closed temporarily.
Some of the shop's regulars are surprised to see this.
"I have to digest this, I was just coming to eat something," customer Eric Gee said.
The shop and restaurant are undeniably one of the Upper East Side's most popular, and this is unlikely to scare away customers.
"I think it's New York, it happens," said Pamela Muller, a customer.
But E.A.T's owner now has a lot of cleaning up to do and that includes the shop's reputation.
Eyewitness News tried to get a comment from the owner, but he refused to speak to Eyewitness News, even as his workers walked right by our camera to waiting vans loading up food.
Eyewitness News thought they were throwing the food out, at least that's what the workers said.
Turns out, the vans Eyewitness News saw loading food at E.A.T. on 81st Street and Madison were apparently headed to another location.
Eyewitness News spotted the vans just minutes later unloading at Eli Zabar's shop on 3rd Avenue.
"You think it's OK to shift stuff from that store to this one?" Eyewitness News asked.
No one would answer that question.
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