Letter to the editor: Do Kickin' Boot owners care about the community?

Dear editor,

The owners of Matador, the new Kickin' Boot Whiskey Kitchen and third a soon-to-be seafood restaurant on Ballard Ave are making a point of destroying part of the historic Ballard neighborhood for their own financial gain.

Their new mega restaurant/bar venture, Kickin' Boot Whiskey Kitchen, is spewing toxic burnt wood smoke fumes into the Old Historic Ballard neighborhood. They have decided to ignore the pleas of nearby residents such as myself and continue to burn firewood in their giant meat smokers and mesquite grill day and night, 7 days a week. The smoke is so overpowering and pervasive in the immediate vicinity of the restaurant that we cannot open any windows or exterior doors without having our dwellings permeated by and reeking of burnt wood smoke. You could equate the degree of smoke exhaust and resulting smoke permeation and penetration into our residences to someone burning a wood campfire outside your bedroom/living room window.

The health and environmental impact upon us (nearby residents, workers and business/property owners) is acute and extreme. Instead of the pleasant smell of saltwater from the canal, we are being subjected to the intense odor of burnt wood exhaust and rained upon by its toxic residue 7 days a week. Breathing in these toxins on a daily basis can be a severe health issue. Over time, the nearby buildings, trees, rain water and soil in Old Ballard will be covered and infiltrated by toxic burnt wood residue.

I personally made the owners of the restaurant aware of their intense smoke exhaust and its impact over a month and a half ago. Their response to me was, ”Thank you for making us aware, but it's possible nothing will be done.” The owners are continuing to proceed with their daily wood burning and there is no remedy or solution to the acknowledged exhaust problem in sight.

Is this the type of business and business owners we want to support in our community of Ballard? The Kickin' Boot owners have no concern for their fellow Ballard neighbors and property owners. They are opening another restaurant exactly like this one in a residential neighborhood in Portland. It is becoming quite clear that they are not part of our community, nor do they wish to participate with us in being a good and responsible Ballard neighbor.

Wayne K., Longtime Ballard Resident

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