Bern's Steak House trash sparking odor, noise complaints from neighbors

City of Tampa issued notice of code violation
Posted at 11:23 PM, Jan 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-25 13:40:41-05

Bern's Steak House, a Tampa staple, is under fire for allegedly disrupting the quality of life for people living nearby.

City of Tampa Code Enforcement recently issued the restaurant a violation notice for creating a public nuisance.

"As soon as he got out of his car he said 'oh my God, this is horrendous,'" said Lou Battaglia.

Battaglia lives next door to a beautiful, brick building behind Bern's Steak House.

The outside of the building certainly fits Hyde Park's historic charm.

"But at the same time, it's a dump site," said Battaglia.

Inside is a massive trash compactor storing Bern's garbage.

Some neighbors are now taking action against the destination steak house, which opened in 1956.

Pictures provided by the Battaglia's show trash remnants seeping onto the perimeter sidewalk and street. The Battaglia's home on Watrous Avenue sits just steps away.

"How could someone get permission to erect a dump site within, basically, five feet of somebody else's residential property," asked Battaglia.

And the Battaglia's say it's not just the odor. Staff members taking out garbage and operating the trash compactor is a source for excessive noise well after midnight, sometimes as late as 2:30 a.m. The couple says the noise keeps them up at night.

"A cartload of bottles and then it dumps over in the alley and this is the crashing," said Julia Battaglia.

Bern's Steak House released the following statement to ABC Action News:
"We have been actively working to ensure that our waste management practices mitigate any sort of noise and inconvenience to our neighbors," said Brooke Palmer Kuhl, Director of PR. "To add, since the compactor was built in 2008, in accordance to the Architectural Review Commission specifications, we have not received any citations. We will continue to work with the city and our neighbors to maintain our beautiful neighborhood."

A code inspector reviewed the site January 11. According to the City of Tampa's Notice of Violation, Bern's has until February 1 to correct the issues. If not, the City of Tampa states it will proceed with legal action.

"They have a business to run, but I have a home and I want to enjoy my home," said Julia Battaglia.