- Associated Press - Friday, June 3, 2016

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - Business is booming at a downtown Williston hot spot for Hawaiian-style food that the city last year dubbed a public nuisance.

The Hula Grill on Main Street faced complaints last fall because of the constant smell of barbecue in the area. The city shut down the business in October until it could find a better way to ventilate the kitchen.

When it couldn’t find a contractor to do the work, the business took out a restraining order against the city, and later negotiated a six-month extension to complete the kitchen overhaul. The project to funnel smoke from the kitchen through the building’s roof was finished by the May 29 deadline, the Williston Herald reported (https://bit.ly/1XVzZAe ).

“Now all of Williston can smell us,” owner Jerry Wong said. “We can share it with everyone.”

Business has picked up considerably, he said.

The dispute cost the Hula Grill $13,000 in ventilation work and $14,000 in attorney fees, but Wong is still happy with the outcome.

“Thanks to the city’s cooperation, a compromise could be reached that works for everybody,” he said. “It would make no sense not to. To have all losers would have made no sense.”

The ventilation upgrade has passed city inspection, and “we have to be the teriyaki chicken capital of North Dakota by now,” Wong said.

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Information from: Williston Herald, https://www.willistonherald.com


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