Food feud – neighbour’s beef with popular restaurant over garlic smell

Duets has become embroiled in a row with neighbour Richard Evans, who has placed angrily-worded post

Duets has become embroiled in a row with neighbour Richard Evans, who has placed angrily-worded posters in his front window. - Credit: Archant

One of Weston’s top restaurants has become embroiled in a row with a neighbour, who has resorted to venting his frustrations through angrily-worded posters in his window.

Lyn and Sean O'Flaherty.

Lyn and Sean O'Flaherty. - Credit: Archant

Richard Evans, of Upper Bristol Road, has fumed at neighbouring Duets for ‘pumping cooking smells and noise’ into his garden from its kitchen extractor fan.

The homeowner has grown so frustrated with the situation he has placed placards in his front window telling passers-by ‘don’t eat in Duets’ and he is ‘sick’ of the ‘pollution’.

But Duets’ owners Sean and Lyn O’Flaherty insist they are doing nothing wrong, and told the Mercury the signs are ‘depressing’.

The restaurant is one of the town’s most popular, boasting a five-star rating on TripAdvisor.

Duets response to the posters.

Duets response to the posters. - Credit: Archant

The neighbours have been back and forth over the issue for decades, and Duets updated the fan in 2016 after guidance from North Somerset Council.

But the row has boiled over again, with Mr Evans launching a fresh complaint to the council.

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He said: “It pollutes my back yard with smells of garlic. I’ve lived here for more than 30 years and I’ve asked him over and over again, but he says ‘don’t live next door to a restaurant’.

“The fan pumps cooking smells and noise into my yard. It’s 5ft away from my window and 10ft from my back door.

“In the summer, I’m sat inside with the windows and doors shut.

“Living next to a restaurant shouldn’t be a problem to me.”

Duets insists the signs have not affected trade, but admitted the situation has been upsetting.

Lyn said: “We’re not awkward people. Sometimes, if we’re quiet, the fan may be on for 30 minutes.

“The signs haven’t affected our business and we’d like to thank all our loyal customers and fellow business owners for their support and words of encouragement.”

Sean added: “He moved in a year after us, so he moved next to a restaurant in a commercial area.

“It’s gone from noise to fumes. No matter what we do it’ll always be something.”

“We don’t want customers being surprised by it, we would rather they know what’s out there. We’re still running as normal.

“It depresses me when I see it, I don’t think we deserve it after all the effort we have put in. It’s not very nice for the area.”

A council spokesman said it was ‘satisfied’ the issue had been handled in 2016, and it is investigating the new complaint.