Neighbors of New IHOP Say ‘No Relief’ from Smell of Bacon

Mary Beth Powers often awakes to the overwhelming odor of bacon wafting from the IHOP 11 stories beneath her apartment.

“There can be times at three or four in the morning when you feel like you’re in the kitchen with them,” said Ms. Powers, who lives on 15th Street. “There is no relief.”

The smell is at times so pungent, she said, that it clouds her thinking.

“It smells like rancid bacon. I just imagine it: a film of crap on my furniture, on my rugs, on my walls. I actually wonder, is this being soaked up in my apartment?” said an exasperated Ms. Powers. “Is it in my hair? Do I smell like IHOP now?”

Yesterday, a group of residents in the building behind the IHOP on 14th Street between Second and Third Avenues held a meeting to discuss complaints about the odor emanating from the diner, as well as the noise from its ventilation system.

One resident — living in the same building as Ms. Power — posted a two-part video on YouTube last month that attempts to capture the noise from the ventilation system — as well as the waft of bacon.

“The smell of bacon that we have, all the time. I’m wondering now if this is going to be our life forever,” she says, filming at 6:30 a.m.

Another video claims that a playground and garden on the roof of the IHOP have gone unused due to the loud ventilation system and piles of trash bags left there.

“This is the sound that you hear; it’s 24-seven; it never stops,” the narrator says. Department of Buildings records show four closed complaints regarding the ventilation systems and trash on the roof. A hearing is scheduled for the first of next month regarding the rooftop equipment, which may not “conform to approved construction documents,” according to records.

That means relief from the ventilator noise may be on the way.

“The noise and the smell are concentrated and channeled in an alley — it’s like a chimney,” Ms. Power said. “Instead of being dissipated, it’s held together and goes straight into people’s windows.”

She is hopeful the smell can be resolved too. On random days the odor of bacon will not emanate from the restaurant.

“This morning it was low-level; my apartment smelled slightly sour,” Ms. Power said. “It’s like when you walk into a kitchen that is slightly not clean.”

The Local will update this post with a response from IHOP as soon as they respond.

Update | 6:55 p.m. Ed Scabbaoueci, the Director of Operations of TriHop LLC (the franchise owner of the 14th Street IHOP) tells The Local over e-mail: “We are committed to being a good neighbor in the communities in which we operate. We recognize that metropolitan living brings unique challenges, and while all equipment used is approved and permitted, we have hired an engineering firm to assist us in resolving issues around odor and noise. As soon as we review the proposed solution and gain necessary permits we will make changes. In addition, we are looking at solutions that will allow for waste to be stored so that it is not seen by neighbors until placed on the street for collection.”