HomeVietnamese AmericanVietnamese restaurant forced to shut down after odor complaints

Vietnamese restaurant forced to shut down after odor complaints

A Vietnamese American restaurant in Portland, OR has been forced to shut down following complaints about smell from an anonymous neighbor.

Willamette Week reports Pho Gabo at Northeast 73rd Avenue and Fremont Street closed its doors rather than spending what it considered an unaffordable $40,000 on a recommended new filtration system.

Five elected lawmakers from the Vietnamese American community fear the law regulating odors “sends a troubling message about the value placed on cultural diversity within Portland,” reported KOIN.

“We believe that, as currently written and enforced, the city’s odor code is discriminatory and not objective by any known standards, leaving out certain, minority-owned small businesses,” they said.

The closure has put an unexpected strain on owner Eddie Dong who also has two other locations. Both have not been impacted by the odor ordinance.

“People that work there is unemployed for me financial hardship because a third of my financial is at the restaurant. Now it’s gone.”

He told KPTV that the complaint surprised him because he had been opened for five years at the 73rd Avenue location, but had never received any complaints before.

“The city got a complaint from one of the neighbors that every time they come out, they can’t stand the smell of the grill and the meat,” Dong says.

Due to concern about the odor ordinance, the city has put a pause on all smell complaints pending further review.

“Commissioner (Carmen) Rubio is very concerned and is raising serious questions about the negative impacts of this policy,” her office said in a statement. “Upon learning about this issue, her office has met with the impacted business owner, and has since directed the Bureau of Development Services to put in place an immediate pause on odor complaints tied to food establishments, and launched an immediate evaluation of the relevant code to make recommendations on changes.”

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1 COMMENT

  1. Will this restaurant seriously forced to shut because one neighbor doesn’t like the smell of grilled meat??? Would a hamburger place be treated like this? I think this is unfair and the person complaining should be just as realistically be expected to move.

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