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Is This IHOP’s $40,000 Bacon Buster? - The Local East Village Blog - NYTimes.com


Is This IHOP’s $40,000 Bacon Buster?


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Sandy Berger The new machinery.

Can the neighbors of IHOP breathe easy?

Sandy Berger, a watchdog of the chain restaurant that she dubbed The International House of Putrid Odors, just sent over photos of a new piece of equipment that seems to have eliminated the overwhelming odor of bacon that has tormented her and many others for months.

“I can smell something now, but it doesn’t assault you. It would be the same as if you were walking down the hallway and you smelled a neighbor’s cooking,” Ms. Berger said. “That’s livable. It’s nothing like it had been before. Nothing.”

Ms. Berger added that three or four workers installed the machine on Tuesday using blowtorches and jackhammers.

Anticipation has been building for the ventilation unit, an industrial strength odor-eater and noise-eliminator, since April. The equipment was initially supposed to be installed by the end of May, but an IHOP manager said in June that it was still being custom built.

Sandy Berger The machinery, with a roof installed on top of it.

The owner of the IHOP, Ed Scannapieco, could not be reached. The manager of the restaurant was also unavailable.

In May Mr. Scannapieco said the machinery cost around $40,000 and requires regular maintenance. “It’s a commitment,” he said at the time. “And one that we’re glad to make.”

But Ms. Berger wasn’t ready to celebrate an end to her bacon-infused existence.

“Until enough time goes by, and a breeze is coming through my window and there’s nothing on it, I’m not cracking the bottle of champagne. But I have high hopes,” she said.

Of course, there’s always room for improvement.

“I just wish they’d make the thing look better,” she added. “But that’s a small thing, I can close my eyes, but I can’t close my nose.”

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this post referred to the ventilation unit as a “smog-hog.” That reference has been deleted since the term is a brand name and Smog Hog says that it did not manufacture the unit in question.