For a time, it seemed that if the restaurant couldn't turn around violations found by county health inspectors, it would have remain shuttered. But it appeared to be open on Monday afternoon, as customers walked in and out of the restaurant.
"Mongolian was closed due to rodent infestation," said Ray Britain, public health manager for the county's Department of Public Health. "As soon as they establish a contract with a licensed pest control company and mitigate the infestation, then they'll be allowed to reopen. "
Mongolian, a restaurant at 1488 E. Highland Ave. that has been in San Bernardino for decades, is one of three businesses closed by the health department this year due to health violations.
According to the department's website, Taco El Guacamole at 825 Highland Ave. and Alberto's Mexican Food at 2342 Del Rosa Ave. were both closed in February and haven't reopened.
An employee at Mongolian, who declined to give her full name, said on Monday the restaurant was trying to correct the violations.
"Right now we are doing the best that we can to clean and try to reopen," she said, before it apparently reopened.
Owners of the restaurant could not immediately be reached for comment.
The health department conducted a routine inspection in February, discovering mice droppings on top of canned foods, onions stored on the floor and holes in the wall behind the soda machine.
The restaurant has a 'B' rating from the health department due to violations. It is one of 64 businesses in the city with that grade.
There are two locations in the city with a 'C' grade - Circle K at 295 N. Waterman Ave. and La Costenita at 265 W. Highland Ave.
But another inspection conducted Thursday - stemming from two anonymous complaints - forced the closure of the restaurant.
"A complaint was reported to DEHS (Division of Environmental Health Services) stating that the facility's roof was falling in, rice was being reused, mice were active in the facility, the restrooms were backing up and that the facility smelled like sewage," according to the inspection report.
Britain said the department works with and trains management on how to correct health violations. Inspectors discard contaminated food and show workers how to protect food from contamination in the future.
An inspector will return to the restaurant for another inspection before the business can reopen.