San Francisco

Beef Over Smell: Residents Say Espetus Breaking SF's ‘Odor' Laws

A beef over meat -- and the smoke and odor it produces.

Some San Francisco residents say a popular Brazilian steakhouse, Espetus, has been breaking the city's "odor" laws for years. The issue, residents say, has forced them to pour thousands of dollars into filtering their apartments.

But the restaurant tells NBC Bay Area it has been a good neighbor and is just trying to find an affordable fix.

Jessica Samples has hooked up her Hayes Valley apartment with carbon filters, air quality monitors and machines in hopes of combating the smoke blowing in from across the street.

"There is no way we can keep the smoke out," Samples said, adding she has invested over $7,000 over the last few years to make sure the inside of her home is safe for her kids.

Other neighbors like Radu Patrichi have dropped serious dollars and documented smoke emission

Meanwhile, Espetus general manager Thays Klein said the restaurant believes it has been a good neighbor.

"It's been 15 years that we've been here, and we've tried out very best to bring nothing but improvements to the area," Klein said.

Klein said air quality inspectors have come more than 200 times and found no actionable violations. The issue -- as they recently discovered -- is city "odor" laws.

"We as a small business are doing our best to appease everyone, but we also need to survive," Klein said.

A Board of Appeals meeting late Wednesday was scheduled to weigh a penalty against Espetus that could lead to daily fines or a shutdown if it does not implement a half-million dollar improvement.

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