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The Dunkin’ in East Boston’s Maverick Square may have a rodent problem, but that won’t keep loyal customers away.

East Boston resident Tammy Tarrant said Monday she would go back if the shop was cleared to reopen.

“I’d rather have Dunkin’ Donuts because I like Dunkin’, and we are going to miss them if they don’t open,” said Tarrant who has turned to making her own coffee. “If they cleaned it up, we can get past that.”

But the fate of the shop remains unknown. Since a video of rodents running around the shop was shared on social media last week, the Dunkin’ location at 13-15 Maverick Square was temporarily shut down and now the owners of the franchise are being sued.

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The federal lawsuit filed last Friday by Dunkin’ Donuts Franchising LLC accuses Ralph F. D’Alelio, Gary J. D’Alelio, Michele Lawlor, and RMG Donuts LLC of “flagrantly violating Dunkin’s operational standards relating to health, food safety, and sanitation at their former Dunkin’ shop.” It says Dunkin’ has terminated its franchise agreement with them.

The Dunkin’ Donuts at 13-15 Maverick Square was closed Monday morning.
The Dunkin’ Donuts at 13-15 Maverick Square was closed Monday morning.Alyssa Lukpat

The location at 13-15 Maverick Square was the subject of a widely shared social media post last week that showed what appeared to be several mice scurrying around the floor of the shop.

The city’s Inspectional Services Department launched an investigation and the store was closed by its manager last Tuesday. On Monday morning the shop was closed. A reporter tried calling the phone number listed for the restaurant three times, and each time there was a busy signal.

According to the lawsuit filed by Dunkin’ Donuts Franchising LLC, company officials were also alerted to the video of the rodents last Tuesday.

Last Wednesday, Dunkin’ hand-delivered a notice demanding that the violations be cured within 24 hours. The next day the shop was inspected again and “once again found to be in default of Dunkin’s Standards,” the lawsuit alleges. Company officials then sent a notice that it was terminating the franchise agreement for the shop.

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The complaint alleges that the store’s owners “have continued to operate the shop using the Dunkin’ system and Dunkin’s Marks without having any right or license to do so.”

It’s not the first time this particular Dunkin’ location has had violations.

A city inspection on June 6 of this year noted several violations, including two dead roaches under an ice blender.


Alyssa Lukpat can be reached at alyssa.lukpat@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @AlyssaLukpat. Emily Sweeney can be reached at esweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.