The newest Buffalo Wild Wings location in the Twin Cities has only been open for two weeks, but neighbors who live north or south of the Snelling Avenue location say it stinks.
"They really shouldn't have a right to just blow their grease in our neighborhood," Jack Nelson told FOX 9 News.
Residents describe the smell as similar to having a deep fryer in their homes, adding that the scent invaded their property and permeated everything down to their bed sheets as soon as opening day.
"It was astonishing to me," Nelson said. "It's heavy, grease-laden, burnt food."
In a statement issued to FOX 9 News, a Buffalo Wild Wings spokesman wrote:
"We are excited to be in the Snelling Avenue neighborhood and have been pleased with the feedback we have received from guests and other members of the community. To the extent feasible, we will continue to work with the community to try to address concerns about restaurant operations."
Not everyone who lives near the restaurant is complaining, however. Alan Block said he expected a lot worse with the University of St. Thomas sitting just blocks away.
"Nobody's pitching any debris on our lawn or going to the bathroom in our yard or anything like that," he said.
Still, others nearby say the sound and smell is something that they won't welcome. The bar and restaurant is open from noon to 1 a.m., and it's just feet from Brian Quarstad's yard.
"It's loud. Our bedroom window is less than 100 feet from the front door," he said. "So, it's a problem."
Officials with St. Paul's Ward 1 also released a statement about the complaints regarding the restaurant. It can be read in full below:
The Ward 1 office has been working closely with Buffalo Wild Wings representatives, nearby residents, and Union Park District Council to come up with solutions to address concerns regarding the opening of a new Buffalo Wild Wings location at the Snelling Avenue and Ashland. Through this work, Buffalo Wild Wings has agreed to take the following steps:
- Install a steel decorative fence along Ashland at Buffalo Wild Wings to help encourage patrons to park in the lot and not on Ashland.
- The driveway on Ashland, which Buffalo Wild Wings originally and mistakenly communicated would be removed, will be shifted west to align with the alley across Ashland at Buffalo Wild Wings' expense. This will encourage customers to turn left and head toward Snelling as opposed to cutting through the neighborhood. While it would be preferable to have this driveway removed, the Minnesota Department of Transportation, which oversees Snelling Avenue, expressed concerns that doing so would cause increased congestion and accidents on Snelling. This will take place no later than mid-August.
- The existing curb along the alley behind the building will be narrowed and deliveries will be made via Snelling.
- A sign originally planned for the building that would face north and stare directly at residents across Ashland has been removed.
- A special system will be installed that monitors the outside of the building for sound coming from TVs and music inside and adjusts the volume if it gets too loud.
- State-of-the-art fans will be installed that will vent smells from the kitchen straight up. Buffalo Wild Wings has indicated this should help prevent smells from blowing into the neighborhood.
- Grease will be disposed of using a closed-loop system the pumps it directly into a sealed storage tank.
- Dumpsters will be stored in a fenced-off enclosure and emptied in a timely manner.
- A sign asking customers to be respectful of neighbors will be installed near the entrance.
- The entrance doors will be closed at all times during operation.
These actions on the part of Buffalo Wild Wings notwithstanding, the Ward 1 office is continuing to work with residents, city staff, and Buffalo Wild Wings representatives to continue to address the concerns of residents regarding reports of odors coming from the restaurant. We are hopeful that Buffalo Wild Wings and neighbors will be able to work together to reach a positive resolution.