Neighbor, restaurant locked in garlic-stank dispute

Illustration for article titled Neighbor, restaurant locked in garlic-stank disputeem/em
Photo: rfranca (iStock)

A dispute over the smell of garlic has escalated in one Bristol, England neighborhood. Though tensions have recently heightened in the feud between a resident and the restaurant adjacent to his house, its origins actually date back three decades. Let’s start at the beginning of this now-very-public debacle.

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Thirty years ago, Duets Restaurant opened in the neighborhood of Weston-super-Mare; according to Bristol Live, one Mr. Richard Evans moved in a year later. For 27 years, all was well as the restaurant and its neighbor existed in copacetic harmony—until the garlic smell started.

Evans claims the stench of garlic, pushed out by the restaurant’s kitchen exhaust fan, is so overwhelming that it’s “polluting” his outdoor air. He tells Bristol Live the fan is just five feet from his window and 10 feet from his back door. Frustrated at the response “Well, don’t live next door to a restaurant,” Evans has tacked up a sign in his front windows—actually, it’s the size of the entire windows—that reads: “His extractor fan has been polluting my outside space for years. I’m Sick Of It!”

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Well.

In response, Duet’s has tacked up its own (much smaller) sign on the eatery’s door, reading in part: “You may have noticed a sign from our neighbour posted in the window… Duets would like to assure its customers and residents that all noise levels emitted by our extraction systems remain fully compliant with North Somerset Council’s assessment of noise pollution.”

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Lyn and Sean O’Flaherty, who own the restaurant, say Evans has been complaining about some issue or another for years, though only recently aired his grievances in sign form.

Lyn describes him thusly: “He’s just an unpleasant character, really.”

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Kate Bernot is a freelance writer and a certified beer judge. She was previously managing editor at The Takeout.

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DISCUSSION

I love it when old men make homemade signs for stuff they are mad about. Every once in a while, I see printed out paper taped to the back window on pick up trucks driven by old men and they are always hilarious. It’s either stuff they are mad about (99% political stuff about Hillary) or it’s stuff they like. My favorite was the creepy old guy who had printed out a word document that just said “yoga pants” and taped that to his back window, like he had to let the world know that he was into yoga pants (he also had a lot of other creepy/weird bumper stickers so I don’t think he was selling yoga pants).