Partygoers were left horrified after mice were spotted scuttling around a ball pit during a children’s soft play party.
Brewer’s Fayre at Newhaven Quay has been closed for at least a week while pest control experts battle to rid the establishment of rodents.
The restaurant suggested the problem mice – which can produce up to 140 pups a year – may be linked to a nearby construction site.
They insisted they adhere to rigorous hygiene and inspection standards.
A member of the public was attending her nephew’s birthday party on Sunday when the rodents were spotted in the soft play area.
Despite informing staff, the person claims the “disgusting” incident was handed poorly by the restaurant, with food continuing to be served and money taken.
The stunned auntie told the Evening News: “I was met with mice running around and I’m not sure the manager cares.
“Food still being served and charged for. It’s disgusting.
“At first it seemed like they were not fussed until two or three more customers spotted them.
“They seemed happy to carry on with business until it was made clear mice were running into the ball pit.”
The restaurant, in Newhaven Place, closed its doors on Sunday, while pest procedures take place.
Brewer’s Fayre told the Evening News it closed the same day the mice were discovered.
It rejected claims the restaurant stayed open following complaints, saying it takes reports of this scale very seriously.
The staff at the restaurant offered complimentary coffee for people to take away on their way out.
She added: “The party had not been paid for lucky enough but we could see before clearing dinner tables out they were still being charged.”
Brewer’s Fayre says it had been in touch with the guests who booked the children’s party and offered them complimentary vouchers to make up for their experience.
Mice can pose a public health risk because they multiply so quickly and can carry disease.
They can also defecate over food and contaminate it. Mice often chew through electricity cables and wires causing fire hazards and damage.
A Brewer’s Fayre spokesman said: “We’re really sorry for the inconvenience caused by the unexpected closure of Brewers Fayre Newhaven Quay on Sunday. We’ve already been directly in touch with affected guests to offer a complimentary meal voucher for the disappointment and we hope to welcome them back through the doors very shortly.”
Brewer’s Fayre say they are hopeful of an opening date next week. Newhaven Quay passed its latest food hygiene inspection on March 2 last year.