‘Spokane is my family’: Sushi restaurant owner responds to viral videos

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane Regional Health District is investigating a Spokane sushi restaurant supposedly shown in viral videos that capture what some have call disgusting cooking habits.screenshot

Elijah Osborn shared the videos on Facebook Sunday night. He said he was doing a favor for a friend by helping out as a dishwasher for a few days at QQ Sushi and Kitchen, in north Spokane. That’s when he saw something he described as unbelievable.

Osborn described watching kitchen staff prep food on the floor and ignore other health codes.

“I’ve never seen anything like that before in my life,” Osborn said. “The biggest deal was when I saw them prepping stuff on the floor every single day.”

The short snippets of video he originally took for Snapchat quickly gained traction on Facebook when he posted it. Within hours, QQ posted on Facebook that the restaurant would be closed on Monday. The notice didn’t say why though. facebook post

4 News Now went to the restaurant Monday morning to talk with owner Bao Zhang. At the time, there were multiple people scrubbing down the restaurant from top to bottom. Zhang wouldn’t specifically confirm whether the video was taken inside the QQ kitchen.

“We have a meeting and I’m meeting with everybody here tonight. I want to know what’s going on here, what’s the problem,” Zhang said.

Zhang went on to say that this is a hard situation to deal with because he loves the community.

“The customer is my family, too. I love it here. I love Spokane,” Zhang said.

But some of the people that once frequented the restaurant quickly turned on it online. More than 2,000 people have commented on Osborn’s post and more than 1,400 have shared it. Most are very critical of what the video portrays.

County records showed that QQ has had violations in the past few years. Some were corrected within the next visit, while others persisted.

Osborn said he did report the business to the Spokane County Regional Health District. But he decided to share the video publicly too because he said that sometimes businesses can hide glaring issues.

“If the health department comes and you’re in there, you’re not going to prep something on the floor instantly. That’s not what you’re going to do,” Osborn said.

The agency is now investigating the newly submitted complaints. A spokesperson said an inspection is scheduled for this week.

Osborn said doesn’t want to see the business close over this. He just wants to see accountability.

“I don’t want to close down a small business if the problem is fixed, consistently fixed,” Osborn said.

KXLY INVESTIGATES: A local man said he took this video inside the kitchen of a north Spokane sushi restaurant. At…

Posted by Ariana Lake on Monday, February 10, 2020