City Desk

One Burger, Hold the Grill

An eatery may have to serve its burgers extremely rare in the near future.

At a hearing last week, some Dupont Circle lawyers expressed fatigue with smelling the heavenly odor of beef. Steptoe and Johnson LLC, at 1330 Conneticut Avenue NW, is suing burger joint and neighbor Rogue States for contaminating its office with beefy smoke.  According to court documents, the law firm complains that from 11 a.m. to 5 a.m., the hours of operation for the eatery, Rogue States has been pumping out noxious—if tasty-smelling—burger gas into the firm's office space, due to its mesquite charcoal grill. The problem has been happening since February, the lawyers complain. The "exhaust from the Restaurant's cooking operations is vented immediately below or near [our] property's air in-take vents."

The firm claims the problem is so bad its employees are ready to hurl: "Steptoe employees have reported health-related effects in connection with the smoke and food odors, including but not limited to headaches, nausea, dizziness, watery and itchy eyes, drowsiness and distraction."

The law firm wants a judge to slap Rogue States with an injunction that will stop the place from grilling. But the restaurant says it's already fixed its exhaust system, and shutting down their grill would mean shutting down their business, putting 40 people out of work. The parties have until August 10 to resolve the dispute on their own. If they don't, the judge will step in.

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  • amro

    you know who should sue? the ann taylor at 1140 connecticut ave. it STINKS 24/7 in there like the subway sandwich place at 1129 18th street -- they share a back wall and obviously a ventilation system. walk into that ann taylor sometime, the stench will knock you over. the clothes smell too.

  • yellowliner

    I am not one to usually sympathize with lawyers, but I do in this case. The church next to my office set up a big outdoor grill next to our intake vents and the fumes were so unbearable they made our eyes tear. It was shut down because of all the neighbor complaints.

  • Rick Mangus

    It's like Shakespeare said and I quote, "Kill All The Lawyers"!

  • Mike Licht

    Grill all the lawyers.

  • Cornholio

    Lawyers are total douchebags --- that is a fact -- and the kind of lawyers that work in law firms, doubly so. (If you are one of them and reading this, yes it includes you too, even if you consider yourself different 'cause you go to the 930 club and have a secret tattoo.) But in this case I can understand why their complaint might be legitimate. It seems though that the building management would have some responsibility in this, too.

  • Bill

    Another fool who doesn't understand the meaning or context of the "First, we kill all the lawyers" quote.

  • Rick Mangus

    This comment is to the professor, it's hardley taken out of context and here is another, "You are a dumb-ass" quote!

  • Ashleigh

    I am amazed that the lawsuit is going so far, if it wasn't between a law office and a small starter restaurant it would be squashed by now, but lets face it these lawyers know their rights! That being said, Steptoe needs to back off of Rogue States, they signed a lease just like they did, and the fault is with the landlord if anyone! Rogue States has in its title "A burger grilling company" you want them to stop grilling? What sense does that make? It pains me to hear about stories like this because this is a really great restaurant that is doing really well, and the burgers are GREAT! I hope that this ends well and Rogue States is around forever!