Last week, WW wrote about a flap over the Northwest Portland restaurant Mama Bird that highlights a regulatory loophole in Portland: Wood-fired ovens are bad for the lungs but nobody in local government regulates them ("No Smoking," WW, Nov. 6, 2019). A month after opening, complaints from neighbors forced Mama Bird to shut down and install scrubbers to remove particulate matter from the smoke. But the restaurant had followed all city and state rules. Here's was readers had to say.
Jesse Empie, via Facebook: "Once Mama Bird opens back up, I'm going to bring friends so they have to burn more wood to keep the fire hot enough to cook delicious birds."
Matthew Helsley, via Facebook: "A smoke-filled restaurant doesn't sound like a healthy place to work eight-hour shifts, five days a week."
Bridgette Eilert, via Facebook: "I was a customer their opening week and really did not enjoy my experience. I found it hard to breathe and all of my clothes smelled like a bonfire. The restaurant itself wasn't adequately ventilated. It's not the residents' fault! The customers inside the restaurant were suffering, too!"
Kasey Anderson, via Twitter: "I almost, ALMOST feel bad for that restaurant, because closing for three weeks right after opening cannot be a recipe for success/longevity."
Mykal Mantyla-Mortenson, via Facebook: "It amazes me that proper ventilation wasn't considered or required before the restaurant opened. That smoke has got to go somewhere."
TJ, via wweek.com: "Wood-burning stoves are made for rural environs and shouldn't be used in town except for emergencies."
Jeremy Fincher, via Facebook: "What upsets me about this is that Portland residents are more concerned about wood-burning smoke than they are about pollution caused by gas- and diesel-burning vehicles."
Tom Mitchell, via Facebook: "So tired of these Northwest area crybabies."
D. Katz, via wweek.com: "The only thing that mitigates the serious public problem these restaurants create is for them to switch to a cleaner cooking method that doesn't involve burning solid fuels."
Chris Robertson, via Twitter: "Portland air quality is bad most of the time. Require scrubbers for all restaurant hoods, wood-fired ovens and BBQs."