HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – A restaurant recently ravaged by a fire is causing an unwanted stench in downtown Hollywood.
Red Thai & Sushi restaurant at 1924 Hollywood Boulevard, caught fire 13 days ago but neighboring businesses said that food left inside has been rotting for days and the smell is unbearable.
They want the building cleaned out because it is emitting a fishy scent that customers and business owners said they have been dealing with for nearly two weeks.
“It is smelling kind of rotten a little bit,” said customer Giselle Guerrero, who was having lunch at Takitos Mexican restaurant right next door. “It effects what you are eating because you are smelling something really unpleasant.”
Guerrero and other customers said that because they were seated right next to the source of the smell it was so unbearable, they were forced to cut their lunch short.
“You don’t want to be here trying to enjoy your food with this odor just coming in making you grossed out,” said Guerrero.
The building was deemed unsafe by the fire marshal, forcing the business owners to close. But when they did, they left the food behind.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, several businesses have been forced to close their doors, but the ones that have been able to remain up and running say it is the stench from Red Thai & Sushi that is driving customers away.
Rosie Hentschel is the owner of Studio Hair Seven and she told Local 10 News' Roy Ramos the odor had been unbearable for her customers.
While she has been burning incense and oils with hopes of masking the smell, she said the restaurants' food storage is located on the other side of the wall of her business.
“The first three days we were dealing with the fumes and underlying smell of garbage,” said Hentschel. “I don’t think it is healthy for us and it is not helping our business. Thank God we are wearing masks because it kind of eliminates [the smell], and when they walk in, (customers) are like, “What is that smell?‘” said Hentschel.
Local 10 News has reached out to the City of Hollywood to see what steps they are taking as well as the owner of Red Thai & Sushi. The owner said she had plans to clean up the restaurant Tuesday.
UPDATE: A spokesperson for the city of Hollywood responded to Local 10 on Wednesday about the stench.
The spokesperson stated that there was a miscommunication between the restaurant owner and building owner over the responsibility of clean up after the fire that led to the delay.
The city assisted by putting both parties in touch with a company that will go into the space as early as Thursday to start the clean up.