Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Some 13th Street residents want the fried-chicken smell to stop

Some residents who live behind Wing Stop at 426 E. 14th St. between Avenue A and First Avenue have been treated to the nonstop smell of fried chicken in recent months, they say. 

Wing Stop, a multinational chain of aviation-themed restaurants specializing in chicken wings, opened here in late April. 

A resident who lives behind the fast-food establishment in the A Building at 425 E. 13th St. shared this photo of the Wing Stop's industrial ventilation system, which "is blowing the smell of fried chicken into roughly 50 condominiums."
"We are getting blasted all day, every day," said the resident, who's doing outreach for the building's board. "I've lived here for 14 years — it's literally unbearable." 

The resident said the new management at 426 E. 14th St. has not been responsive. 

Condo reps have been in touch with the Wing Stop corporate office. (The company is publicly traded, and while many locations are franchises, this location is corporate-owned.) After multiple calls to the corporate office, the resident received an email from the company in late June: 
We appreciate you reaching out to us in regards to our restaurant NY New York — E. 14th Street. 

We discussed this with our VP of Construction and Operations and we are within our rights per the terms of our lease. 

We suggest that you reach out to your landlord to discuss your concerns. 
The resident and others facing Wing Stop, which has daily hours of 10:30 a.m. to midnight, say they are at a loss over what to do now. 

"Since Wing Stop opened, we are unable to use our balconies, open our windows or even use our AC systems because the ongoing smell of fried chicken and/or french fries is blasted directly into our homes," the resident said. "It comes so quickly without warning and continually throughout the day, so there is no way to mask the smell because you don't realize it until it hits you. Then you feel like you're wearing it — it's truly disgusting."

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

311 Ventilation/Exhaust System Complaint form
https://portal.311.nyc.gov/sr-step/?id=51e26283-4c07-ed11-b5cf-0004ffe50bad&stepid=749ab462-2a52-e811-a836-000d3a33b56b

Anonymous said...

I had this same type of issue with a wood smoking Bar-B-Que joint a decade ago. They smoked their food 24/7 with plumes of wood smoke billowing in and around my building. In a city that has an idling law for vehicles, they were allowed to burn wood all day long in a residential neighborhood. Go figure?

I couldn't keep any windows open because my apartment would reek of smoke. Not to mention the sore throats and headaches it would cause me. Many people in my area were troubled by this but were too lazy to do anything about it.

I called and wrote to CB3 repeatedly. It was an absolute waste of time.

I called Dept. of Health and made dozens of complaints over the course of three years. I had videos and photos of the huge clouds of smoke emanating from the smoke vent, which was set back, and impossible to view from the street. Finally, the city sent a few officials over and were there to witness and "enjoy' the smoke filled experience.

The business was summonsed, fined, and told to desist immediately. The moral being that you just have to be persistent when you're within your rights. Their right to pursue capitalism doesn't give them permission to run rough shod over your rights.

Anonymous said...

What a nightmare! I would hope there are city regulations that can help (via community board, our council member, 311…) If all else fails, an owner group could leaflet in front of Wing Stop and ask people not to patronize it. This will become a more common issue as bigger buildings get built here, next to the five story tenements. Good luck and I hope the story gets updated from time to time.

Anonymous said...

Go to Carlina, she has to be motivated right now. And to Harvey.

dwg said...

If they haven't they should make 311 complaint, also contact CB3 and Carlina Rivera's office.

Anonymous said...

Organize a shame campaign on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. Then call local news stations. They’ll eventually cave.

Anonymous said...

311 is the biggest waste of time you could imagine

Jose Sanabria said...

Thank you so much for posting this.
I live on 13 and my window faces this place, i literally cant open the doors or even turn the AC on, the smell is unbearable, all day long. It smells like chicken fried even in my cloths and furniture, terrible, well do anything in our power to fix this problem. Very unfair for the residents !

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to chime in regarding dealing with 311. if you send an email or call, they never respond. If they do respond, they never get in touch with the complainant. Then, if they come, they come once which is not often enough to detect or ascertain what the issue.

If they do detect something, they may fine or threaten to fine with no follow-up to remediate the issue that spurred the complaint. Useless in the extreme.

BT said...

I'm not living in the area, but it sounds like an organized picketing of the store might help. At lunch time and dinner time, every day. Very kindly and nicely stop EVERY person who is going into the store - and ask them not to buy anything from the store.

Someone who lives nearby start a facebook (ick) group and handout flyers in the buildings that are impacted. Direct the people on the flyers to the facebook group (and/or email). A coordinated social media attack might help, but asking people not to purchase from them will put a dent in their sales. Done right, it could slow their business a lot.

There's no reason someone who has lived there for years should be subjected to this.



stephen b said...

This is a solution I know exists but I don't right off know how to get there.

Many restaurants are required - by a retroactive penalty they received and some by construction design - to vent smells using a special "stack" chimney of the required height, to a point above the tallest inhabited space.

If you look around the EV, you will see many restaurants using this solution. I have, in a few construction designs, specified these systems IN the design process. However, many such stacks are a result of penalties.

The writer above who has been informed of the building's lease may, if the info they received is accurate, have a problem.

I'm just trying to help, don't kill the messenger but I'd lawyer up just to start.

Anonymous said...

I also face this internal courtyard. It is terrible. Feels like you are actually in the Wingstop itself 24/7 with the smell.

Anonymous said...

The same condo building with the with the screaming irritating pool parties in the summer till all hours of the night? Seriously boo hoo how's the condo life now

Anonymous said...

Agree with 11 30. The venting has to be stacked higher than the nearby buildings. It's very common all over the city.

Grieve said...

Someone IHOP... forgot about that back in 2011-12 when they opened on 14th Street and the smell of bacon blasted neighbors living behind them.

The owner of this location spent $42,000 on an odor-killing machine called a "smog hog."

Anonymous said...

DEP would seem to be the best route to go. I also agree with the public shaming them maybe using 7 OnYour Side or similar service on the local news channels.

Anonymous said...

What a nightmare. Condolences to the residents. There has to be something one can do. Lots of good comments and suggestions in here though-good luck. Sounds horrible.

Anonymous said...

Sad to see such a raging demand for this insipid corporate frat boy chain fare, both here in the EV and beyond. Chicken is going to become the base of the USDA's food pyramid, eventually. We've already seen the KFC brand beginning to replace sandwich buns with fried cutlets of chicken. What the hell people.

Anonymous said...

I can’t use my balcony either, because of the strong strench of cat urine from the neighboring apartment 24/7/365, for years. Fried chicken smells like heaven in comparison. Wanna trade?

Anonymous said...

The smell is unbearable, this is what happens with all the fast food chains coming into the EV, they don't care at all about the neighbors

Sammy said...

This feels very Kenny Rogers Roasters. How did that ever get resolved again?

Anonymous said...

Sienfeld had an episode about this Kenny Rogers Chicken

Anonymous said...

Maybe we put up a bad chicken sign…seemed to work for Kramer

Anonymous said...

We can’t even get rid of the garbage street vending on 14th Street let alone a Wing Stop.. Good luck

Anonymous said...

that was one incident 14 years ago. the pool closes at 8pm and has for over a decade so i’m not sure what you’re talking about. and it’s great thanks once we get this wingstop situation resolved. thanks for checking!

Anonymous said...

Agreed, good point. I don't eat chicken so I can imagine what a nightmare this must be.

BushwickGrillClub said...

This is a DEP issue - not DOH orDOB. Start by reporting them to the DEP. As Stephen B & 2:58 state, all restaurant venting is required to be taller than the highest surrounding building which is clearly not the case here. Additionally, restaurants that are majority frying (chicken, bacon, etc.) or smoking (BBQ) are also required to have scrubber filtration systems. Getting the neighbors to hammer DEP with complaints is a great place to start. Looking at that photo, it's clear Wing Stop has not had a DEP visit...

Anonymous said...

@BushwickGrillClub
All what you say is true.
For this reason, I cannot comprehend how this ever gets allowed to happen?
The initial buildout of this place had to have plans filed and approved. And then signed-off on upon completion.
How the hell does this happen??

Anonymous said...

@ 1:52pm - I think it happens because the city is run for business revenue and not the people who live here. This should be obvious to everyone who has lived here for a while. 311 is a palliative that in almost all cases never has concern for enforcing regulations that exist. And, on that note - it is illegal to ride a bicycle on a sidewalk in NYC if you are over the age of 12.

Anonymous said...

buy the permit plans from the DOB and make sure it is properly installed.

Anonymous said...

Everyone has to flood the DEP with requests to inspect this place. I do believe they need to have venting that goes up higher so that the smells aren't vented into people's windows. I complained to the DEP about a restaurant that had a vent right next to my kitchen window, and the restaurant had to take it down and build one that went up four more stories. Also, someone else mentioned scrubbers. They should also be required to add the equipment that abates cooking smells. If everyone stays on this, the neighbors should win. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

City governance is deeply broken when such simply issues does not get resolved without neighbors having to lengthy action and enduring this. Probably this will get resolved eventually because if 50 neighbors got affected, chances are at least one has the knowledge, expertise, will, and endurance to take up the fight. If it is only a few they might just suffer in oblivion.

Following up on Comments 'July 19, 2022 at 8:13 AM' and '10:32 AM', it is shocking that so many of us experience 311 complaints as an utterly useless waste of time. This system is broken. Who should be held responsible for? When are next elections to encourage alternatives for the primaries.

"Simple" issue refers to a clear-cut case in which the cause of the nuisance must desist until he installs proper devices that remedy it (such as smog-hog or higher chimney). One single 311 should be enough to get DEP to inspect the situation and get it resolved. Anything else is unacceptable service and governance failure.

Anonymous said...

I’ve lived in the building for over 20 years. I’m able to remember the buildings that were torn down and the bone rattling Jack hammers day after day during the building of the luxury condominiums now getting the fried chicken treatment. It’s not quite the level of schadenfreude I feel towards the people who bought into the thin skyscrapers in midtown only to find out the buildings sway in the wind, but it’s still difficult to feel too sorry for the gentrifying millionaires who don’t give a thought to the people and businesses they displace.