Upper West Side apartment dwellers tormented by endless McDonald’s smell

Those Upper West Side folks really don’t like it.

Residents of a building on West 95th Street say they are forced to live with the smell of McDonald’s fries, Big Macs and grease choking their homes, after an exhaust fan on the roof of the fast food chain was diverted from a swanky new skyscraper and headed towards them.

“Sometimes it gets louder and you can smell the burgers. It’s just disgusting,” said José Londondo, a resident of the building at 255 West 95th Street near Broadway.

First-floor resident Stephen Stanczyk, 61, told the Post that before the new luxury building was built, fumes from nearby McDonald’s were poured onto Broadway. But now the vent is turned to face the aggrieved neighbors building.

“So we have fries at three in the morning. It’s actually more like rancid burgers, that’s what it smells like,” Stanczyk said.

The smelly situation, which was first reported by the West Side Rag, was particularly unpleasant for Londondo, a vegetarian whose window overlooks the vent.

The neighbors are sick of their apartments smelling like Mickey D’s all day long.
Gregory P. Mango for NY Post

The 57-year-old invited The Post to his home only to smell an overwhelming smell of french fries wafting through his flat as he opened the window.

« The windows and doors are closed because of it, » the 20-year-old resident said, referring to the smell.

« It’s frustrating. It’s very frustrating because I have to keep the windows closed, » the landscaper adds.

« It’s a good thing we don’t think we’ll sell it anytime soon. »

mcdonalds smells 4
The McDonald’s vent faces neighbors’ homes, causing a foul smell.
Gregory P. Mango for NY Post

A third-floor resident who did not want to be named called the new high-rise construction on the street a « nightmare » and said « everyone » in the building was complaining about the unwanted smell of Micky D’s.

« It’s not so bad in my apartment but everyone complained about it. »

The daily stench mobilized residents of the six-story building to engage New York City Councilwoman Gale Brewer.

Brewer, who represents the area, sent a letter to the person she believes to be the store owner in August complaining about the situation on behalf of residents.

« They claim your manager and staff at McDonald’s…have always been friendly and responsive, and I can attest to that, » she wrote. « However, it is my understanding that on April 4 an exhaust fan was hijacked and then spit fumes into the windows of people who live at 255 West 95th Street. »


Councilor Gale Brewer is now advocating on behalf of residents to find a solution to the smell.


The McDonald’s manager says he can’t do anything now.


Upper West Side residents can smell all manner of McDonald’s menu items from their units.

A spokesperson for Brewer said the city’s Department of Health and Environmental Protection told the councilwoman’s office that McDonald’s was in compliance with the code.

McDonald’s manager Maria told the Post it wasn’t the chain’s fault. She said when the new building started construction, the fans were installed.

« I’m sure no one wants that smell in their building all day, but there’s nothing we can do about it, » said Maria, who didn’t want to give her last name.

“The vents come from the kitchen. So everything fried rises. It’s fryers. It comes from deep fryers – the chicken, the fish, the Chicken McNuggets, the fries,” Maria added, admitting she wouldn’t want to live with the smell on a daily basis.

McDonald’s headquarters did not respond to a request for comment.


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