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Williston restaurant shut down over smell complaints

WILLISTON, N.D. — A downtown Williston restaurant that had become a hot spot for Hawaiian-style food has been shut down after being deemed a public nuisance.

The Hula Grill on Main Street faced complaints about creating a constant smell of barbecue in the area. Owner Jerry Wong said the city ordered him to find a better way to ventilate his kitchen, but he couldn’t find anyone to do the work and the city rejected his last-ditch plan to have a friend do it.

“They wanted it to be guaranteed to not leak fumes or vapors,” he told the Williston Herald.

Wong said he’s willing to pay the $15,000 cost of fixing the problem but needs to be granted more time.

“What they’re asking us to do, there aren’t a lot of people that can do it in a short amount of time,” he said.

Senior City Inspector Martin Colgan declined comment, but Mayor Howard Klug said Wong was given plenty of time to fix the problem.

“It was a 30-day fix and he got twice as long as others do,” Klug said.

The restaurant had been drawing about 125 customers per day. Wong said the city pulled his license on Monday, after just three months of operation, and his 10 employees might lose their jobs.

“That would be really sad, but I would have to look for another job,” server Natalie Pintal said. “I have to pay bills.”

In related news, Minot businesses: New liquor rules change how we operate.

Information from: Williston Herald, http://www.willistonherald.com

This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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