Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Life behind IHOP: 'My apartment now smells like the kitchen of a cheap hotel after the breakfast rush'


Late Tuesday night, someone left a comment on three of our IHOP posts... (This one ... this one ... and this one...)

We thought that we'd share them with you all in one place...

1) IHOP is a neighborhood killer in more ways than one. The local owner of the 14th St location somehow persuaded the DOB to allow them to place the restaurant's heavy equipment and ventilation system on the "roof" of the 1-story extension behind the building, instead of on the building's actual roof; as a result, the (considerable) noise, and the smell of rancid bacon are channeled directly into the windows of homes up and down East 15th Street. My apartment now smells like the kitchen of a cheap hotel after the breakfast rush. All.The.Time. If any of your readers get wind (hah!) that their neighborhood is the next to be invaded by IHOP (I'm looking at you, Chelsea/Limelight area), tell them to sell. Sell now. Because if you wait until after the IHOP has opened, you'll be trapped.

2) Please God, let someone or something kill off this disgusting hellhole! IHOP's management somehow persuaded the DOB to allow it to place their heavy equipment and ventilation system on the "roof" of the 1-story extension behind this building on 14th Street. As a result, the noise and the horrible rancid bacon smell are channeled up and into the windows of 100+ apartments on 15th Street. This goes on 24/7. They have destroyed the quality of life for countless people. And Chelsea folks, they're coming for you next.

3) Glad the staff is nice. However, if you lived in one of the apartments behind this hellhole, you'd be praying for the day when the "Going Out Of Business" signs go up. The noise from the equipment never, never stops, and the smell! The SMELL!!!! My apartment stinks like a cheap hotel kitchen after the breakfast rush now. If you own an apartment in one of the neighborhoods slated to get their very own IHop (I'm looking at you, Limelight neighbors), sell now. Because once the doors open on the new grease palace, you'll be trapped. No one will buy your place once they see, hear and smell what's going on.

Bonus:

Punk rope flashmob outside IHOP...

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Seems like all those posts are from the same person. They use the same phrasing and mention the same things. I could easily be wrong but it looks like it's 1 VERY angry person.

EV Grieve said...

Thanks anon... I figured it was the same person... who REALLY wanted to drive home the point!

Shawn Chittle said...

People get beat down and feel helpless. It's the 1 or 2 activists in a building that create real change. For years I never thought I could stop a bar from opening, or block something from happening which I felt was detrimental to the quality of live on LES.

And then someone showed me the light. You can kick the bad out if you do it right.

Good luck 14th/15th Street!

Anonymous said...

The people who live above the IHOP need to creative. My suggestion: go to TSP and catch a few rats. Then strap miniature parachutes on them and release the rodent paratrooper army onto the rooftop trash pile. IHOP get shuttered by DOH.

Sure, it's a totally impractical and borderline insane idea. But wouldn't rat paratroopers be awesome?

rat paratroopers

Anonymous said...

I ate at IHOP, and the bacon was definately not rancid.

In all seriousness, I would pay a premium to live where I could have the smell of bacon in my home every day. What is wrong with this person?

Marty Wombacher said...

@Anonymous 10:13 AM: Rat paratroopers should be the definition of awesome!

Anonymous said...

Wah. If you can't handle the smell of mass-produced franchise restaurants, you should just move back to Iowa.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the bacon they serve is not rancid. However, the grease residue that covers the inside of the exhaust pipe is almost certainly rancid.

I love bacon and other pork products as much as anyone can. However, I would not want to live with the constant smell of it. I once cooked two 7 pound pork shoulders in my apartment and the smell stayed for days and stuck to my clean clothing even with closet door closed.

I don't envy those who live above that IHOP.

Anonymous said...

Gross and disgusting.

nygrump said...

You're out of luck. The City will not do anything here. Its individuals vs. a BUSINESS. We've been trying to get something done about the 1960's-era exhaust fans in little india on 6th St, nobody will do anything. It doesn't matter the buildings are shaking apart or we have to constantly smell burning food and the noise is at 70 db. The city agencies shake their heads because they would actually have to do some work.

Anonymous said...

"Wah. If you can't handle the smell of mass-produced franchise restaurants, you should just move back to Iowa."

I keep seeing comments like this, and I can't tell if the writers are serious. "Mass-produced franchise restaurants" are the very hallmark of places like Iowa and the suburbs, where they're built on highways and in stripmalls, NOT in densely populated areas. They're certainly not native to Manhattan, which offers so many real restaurants that serve much better food.

Anonymous said...

DOH is too busy kicking the cat out of the Algonquin Hotel and getting rid of the cheese at Sardi's to care about issues that actually affect the quality of life of plebeian New Yorkers.

Maybe in the next election people will choose not to elect the worst fascist of the bunch.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you need to launch Occupy IHOP! Count me in, by the way. I love the pancakes!

glamma said...

look up IHOP's pork producers and check out what they do to those poor f*cking pigs.

Anonymous said...

You may be wasting your breath with the DOH. But don't overlook the power of a good old fashioned public shaming. Large chain restaurants are hyper aware of their presence on the web and social media sites. With their plans to expand in Manhattan, IHOP would be wise to avoid bad publicity.

Tom said...

"The local owner of the 14th St location somehow persuaded the DOB to allow them to place the restaurant's heavy equipment and ventilation system on the "roof" of the 1-story extension behind the building ...."

I think that's pretty common (not right, but common) and didn't require any persuasion of DOB. You see that in a few places in the East Village and elsewhere where there's a 1-story building sandwiched between two taller buildings. E.g., the Moonstruck Restaurant/Coffee Shop on the corner of 2nd Ave and 5th St has similar ventilation equipment mounted on the roof of the 1-story building behind it.

Goggla said...

@nygrump - have you contacted the DOB? I live in a similar situation where the restaurant fans downstairs were old, came loose and shook the entire building. Pictures came off my walls. The restaurants had to replace the fans and vents as it was a safety issue. If the DOB goes nowhere, maybe contact FDNY as a faulty exhaust fan is a fire hazard. The DOB should at least send an inspector.

Anonymous said...

DOB won't do anything. Band together with the rest of the tenants and hire a lawyer, then sue IHOP for what's called "private nuisance" (it's for when someone's otherwise lawful use of their property interferes with the lawful use of your property). Defending a lawsuit -->legal fees-->financial pressure to solve the problem. You can also probable sue your landlord or withhold rent. The city agencies are all but explicitly instructed to side with landlords against tenants and businesses against individuals, but if external factors make your apartment unlivable, by law your landlord is supposed to take the hit, not you.

nygrump said...

Googla -

I've had DOB out and they said it was not a problem. Nevermind the entire backwalls of 322-326 were just rebuilt this past year as they were falling off the structural beams. I've had DOE out for sound problems but other than once getting the former Spice Cove fined $600 for noise (they paid the fine and did nothing) every other time the inspectors would kind of shrug because there are so many restaurants on the block that are all effed up, they just didn't want to work, because they would have to measure each one one at a time - when I looked online they wrote they had been 'unable to access apt'. I called the fire dept once because of some brown chemical clouds billowing out of Souen at 2 am one morning (they were power washing grease) and 3 ladder trucks showed up - I felt a bit sheepish...my next step is to beg Rosie for help.

Anonymous said...

Soo, why is it that this IHOP can't be a good neighbor like Veselka, B&H and others? I admit I don't know what's above/behind those places but we don't hear complaints in the same way though those places serve just as much standard breakfast greasy food as anyone. Do those places have just smaller systems to deal with ventilation or what's up with all the smaller spots all over the Village that serve the likes of pancakes, bacon or other greasy ish food...?

I just don't get why these chains even move here, and second why they cannot adapt whatever thingamajig in the back of the house to a more urban setting.

I'm telling you this is totally getting nuts, with a seven11 coming on the Bowery, this is exactly what I moved away from in my small town in Texas. AND I repeat as I have in my own little anonymous comments on these blogs, I did not want to or wish to bring non-NYC america with me. I didn't grow up in suburbs or country. Just a lower working class small town that I wanted to get out of and there was a 7-11 a few blocks away in the downtown area and a lot of chains (also some indie businesses but not as many now I think). I am one of those maybe last breeds who moved to NYC with little money (nearly impossible to do now) somehow made it work with no trust fund and no desire to see IHOP, 7-11, McD's, BurgerKings and chain drug stores, along with too many Subways to count. Now they're saying to move to MARFA which is hundreds of miles where I grew up, but now it's all so reversed you gotta be wealthy to go back. Sorry, a rant, but EVG's posts always bring this stuff out.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you can pick up some pointers from this story: http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/youngandhungry/2011/08/05/dupont-lawyers-pleased-that-foul-burger-smell-is-gone-from-former-rogues-states-location/

Anonymous said...

Better article on the Lawyers vs. The Burger Joint: http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/youngandhungry/2010/10/06/law-odor/

Anonymous said...

"The local owner of the 14th St location somehow persuaded the DOB to allow them to place the restaurant's heavy equipment and ventilation system on the "roof" of the 1-story extension behind the building ...."

I don't think this is legal. Ciao For Now did this when they were in their original location on 12th Street (their back roof jutted out in between two taller buildings and was only one story high), and my neighbors and I called and complained to the DOB because the ventilation system was spewing food smells right into our windows, and they were forced to take it down, and I believe they were also fined. The DOB website listed it as an illegal exhaust system. So call 311 and report it. Too many restaurants, from the small, independently owned places, to the chains like IHOP try to bend the rules to their own benefit, and they can't be allowed to get away with it.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1:01, I generally don't frequent chain restaurants, but come on. That's a selective memory. I remember a lot of people on the Nostalga blogs lamenting about the Times Square Howard Johnson's, which was an iconic chain restaurant in Manhattan.

Just because it's a chain doesn't make it horrible, and just because it's a local mom and pop, doesn't make it good. I tend to judge places based on the actual product they put out.