CHELSEA — Health Department officials shut down a popular late-night restaurant in Chelsea on Thursday after discovering a "significant mouse infestation," a spokeswoman for the department said.
New Venus Restaurant at 252 Eighth Ave., which serves up diner classics 24 hours a day, was still shut on Friday, with a sign reading "Closed for Cleaning" on the door.
A report of Thursday's inspection was not immediately available on the Department of Health's website, but on Dec. 31, inspectors found evidence of mice, flies, and other infractions — totaling 27 violation points.
The last time the restaurant got a grade from an inspection, it got a solid A rating, racking up only nine violation points.
The diner has long been a fixture in the gay nightlife scene, with a rainbow flag flying over its entrance.
Reviewers on Yelp said the spot was a great place to listen to Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey while enjoying greasy food that will absorb some of the alcohol of a long night out.
"I come here when I wanna get a self-esteem boost by getting some attention from the Chelsea boys," wrote reviewer Alan G.
One regular, who identified himself only has Mike, said he planned to come back when the restaurant reopened.
"They've been good to us over the years," he said. "I don't want to judge them from this little snag."
Staff at the restaurant declined to answer a reporter's questions, and its owner was not immediately available for comment.
A manager, who identified himself as Tony, said the restaurant hoped to reopen on Monday.