Health department shuts down DC Popeyes after rats seen scurrying up walls in video

The Popeyes in Barracks Row on 8th Street Southeast has been closed indefinitely following the release of a video showing rats swarming the establishment’s kitchen. (Courtesy Phil Rokus)

A poster in the window of the Popeyes on 8th Street Southeast in Barracks Row notifies the public that the location has been closed for violating D.C. health codes. (Courtesy Phil Rokus)


A D.C. Popeyes restaurant has been shut down by the health department after a man posted a video showing rats scurrying up the walls and across the floor after turning on the lights.

The Popeyes in Barracks Row on 8th Street Southeast has been closed indefinitely following an inspection from DC Heath.

The man said in a video he posted on TikTok, that he delivers raw chicken to all of the Popeyes restaurants in the D.C. area. (Editor’s Note: Viewers should be warned that the video contains heavy profanity.)

In the video, he says “y’all want to see something?” He then opens the doors to the closed restaurant on Barracks Row in Southeast, recites the Popeyes jingle and then turns on the lights.

Next, rats can be seen running across the floor and up the walls.

A Twitter user responded to the account Washingtonian Problems — who posted the video to their feed — saying “Absolutely not,” and tagged D.C. Councilmember Charles Allen, DC Health and Mayor Muriel Bowser. Allen responded on Twitter saying, “absolutely not is right!” 

Allen said that DC Health inspected and closed the restaurant on Friday.

According to DC Health records, there have been at least seven complaints of varying violations filed at six Popeye’s restaurants in the District this year, not including this latest incident.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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