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Two employees say Crow's Nest does have pest problems

two story building with signs that say Crows Nest and Fourth Coast behind cars in parking lot
Jessi Phillips
The Crow's Nest and Fourth Coast Cafe and Bakery at 816 S. Westnedge Ave. in Kalamazoo. The health department says it found no evidence of pest issues at the establishment.

The health department found no violations in a March 21 inspection. But two employees of the popular Kalamazoo restaurant say it does have an issue with mice and cockroaches.

The Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Department says it has found no evidence that a popular Kalamazoo restaurant is having pest problems. But two employees say they are surprised by that finding.

Last week, a viral post on the social media platform Reddit claimed that Crow’s Nest has a mouse and cockroach issue. Its author claimed to be a former employee. The health department said it got a "non-illness complaint" about the restaurant around the same time. It said it inspected the business the same day and found no food safety issues.

But two employees who asked to remain anonymous said they see roaches in the restaurant a few times a week and clean up mouse feces at the start of their shifts about as often. One employee added that health inspections tend to take place during business hours after workers have cleaned up evidence of pests.

“To hear them say there’s no evidence is outrageous to me,” one said.

They also said if the restaurant had more employees or workers had more time during shifts, they would have more capacity to complete the necessary cleaning.

Owner Jon Talbot denies that Crow's Nest has a pest problem.

 “We maintain that there haven’t been any of these issues,” said Talbot, who owns Crow’s Nest and Fourth Coast Bakery and Café, the coffee shop on the first floor.

Talbot noted the health inspection report, and said that “the Kalamazoo Health Department has a good reputation.” He said the inspections are “very random”, and there’s no way to prepare for them. He also said the business takes cleaning and food safety very seriously.

The Health Department said it investigates complaints within three days. It said it looks for “signs of live or dead pests...feces, and disturbed food or packaging.”