Every dog deserves its day, right? Last year BHB had a heyday with the infamous Montague Street hotdog controversy, after a vendor dared to sell wieners to the olfactory offense of a number of readers. Even the New York Post got into the story.
And now, a 2013 controversy involving Brooklyn Heights’ otherwise beloved Iris Cafe… The eatery, which opened in 2009 at 20 Columbia Place, is in hot water with neighbors, reports The New York Post in a story titled “Eatery neighbors in smell hell.” The crime: “It’s been nothing but agita for some residents who live above it. Residents in the historic A.T. White Riverside Apartments gripe that they’re sick of overpowering fumes from coffee, baked goods, beef jerky and other artisan eats that the hip cafe churns out.”
Apparently, Iris and its next-door take-out shop don’t have ventilation systems, “so the strong aromas rise into some of the 157 apartments at the 122-year-old complex,” residents tell the Post, which adds, “The city’s Environmental Control Board last year slapped the takeout shop with $2,400 in fines after Dept. of Environmental Protection inspectors responded to complaints. Summonses were issued because strong odors of brewed coffee and muffins came from an ‘unregulated source.'”
Iris’ co-owner Salah Hamden says he doesn’t have to legally install a ventilation system because he cooks with an electric stove, instead of a gas-fired appliance: “I want to be a good neighbor and am always willing to talk, but if I install a ventilation system, other people in the building might complain it’s too noisy,” he told the Post.
Apparently, the smell of coffee is the new second-hand smoke. D’Amico Coffee in Carroll Gardens, which has been brewing since 1948, has dealt with similar complaints, according to the New York Observer. (Photo: CT)