UPPER WEST SIDE — The local Fairway Market is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on fighting rodents after sightings of the pests shocked customers, a spokesman said.
The store tweeted to an angry customer Thursday that it was "sparing no expense to help remedy this neighborhood situation" and that it was "spending hundreds of thousands on new doors, reinforced walls and floors, new produce cases and more."
Shopper Gretchen Berger said she'd previously seen mice in the store, located at West 74th and Broadway, but recently saw her first rat.
"This is really scary!" she wrote in an email to City Councilwoman Gale Brewer, whose office has corresponded with Fairway and is monitoring the issues.
According to My Upper West, Fairway customer Glenn Herman reported spotting a mouse sitting in the store's olives section Wednesday.
Department of Health records show that Fairway's Upper West Side location passed its last three rat inspections, in September 2010, last October and in April.
The rat problem is not unique to Fairway. Residents in the area, including Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, have reported a spike in rodent sightings lately.
"I live on 71st Street. The rats don't scurry," Stringer reported. "They walk right up to you and say, 'How are you, Mr. Borough President?'"
In August, Stringer and Brewer co-hosted a "rat academy" in the neighborhood focused on vermin infestation prevention. Another academy is planned this month.
According to a Fairway spokeswoman, the problem stems from nearby construction.