On behalf of neighbors adjacent to the Turkey Leg Hut restaurant on Almeda Road, the law firm of Feldman & Feldman has filed suit against what it says is an illegal enterprise that also jeopardizes public health and safety with the smoke it sends billowing into the sky.
According to the suit filed in state district court, the restaurant in the Third Ward has never been properly permitted and has been allowed to operate in an unregulated fashion by the city of Houston. It is said to be a favorite of local politicians and a screenshot from a Facebook page shows Mayor Sylvester Turner chowing down there.
"Air monitoring performed near the restaurant revealed high levels of air pollutants that present health risks. The plaintiff neighbors obtained a temporary restraining order today[Wednesday] to shut down outdoor food preparation and commercial smokers at the restaurant site between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.," a press release from the Feldman firm said.
This is especially concerning to neighbors with asthma and with small children. The facility is owned by Nakia S. Price and Lyndell Price.
Calling the operation there "an illegal outdoor meat smoking factory," the press release also refers to an affidavit presented by sanitarian Lisa Edwardsen in which she says the facility lacks proper ventilation and smoke mitigation, doesn't effectively eliminate the presence of insects, rodents and other pests and that customers there are subjects to "an elevated risk of potential food borne illness" including E. Coli,
And according to the suit, residents have complained about Turkey Leg Hut for a while, but the city has ignored their concerns and taken no action against the facility.
Update: 1 p.m. The owners of Turkey Leg Hut contacted us with the following statement:
“At this time this is a pending legal matter, and we are not able to comment. We are aware of the allegations against the Turkey Leg Hut and have been cooperative with the city of Houston and the associated departments.
We will continue to rigorously defend all allegations made against us as we always work hard to have a safe and healthy environment for our community and patrons. “ –Nakia Price, Owner/Managing Partner, Turkey Leg Hut
Here's the suit in its entirety:
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.