A Center City Dumpster War Boils Over

dumpster_300A long-stewing feud between Chris’ Jazz Café owner Mark DeNinno and Del Frisco’s over the condition of the steakhouse’s dumpster fleet hit the boiling point Saturday night when DeNinno dragged one of the reeking containers onto Chestnut Street and chained it to a light pole by the restaurant’s front door.

DeNinno — whose entrance sits adjacent to the back of Del Frisco’s on Sansom between Broad and 15th, a block notorious for its fragrant dumpster population — says he has been bringing the issue to the attention of Del Frisco’s GM Shang Skipper for months, but that the restaurant’s sporadic cleanings haven’t been enough.

On Saturday, DeNinno says, the stench was so bad that couldn’t even prop open the café’s door, so he took matters into his own hands, dragging four of the dumpsters onto 15th Street and moving a fifth dumpster to the Del Frisco’s entrance. Skipper called the cops, but no tickets or citations were issued, and the dumpster was removed within half an hour.

“We’ve been doing everything he’s asked us to, above and beyond,” Skipper claims, including cleaning the dumpsters out twice a day, scrubbing the sidewalk, and dousing the dumpsters with sanitizer. (On a visit I made around 6 p.m. on August 26th to take the picture above, there were inches of sludge in the bottom of one dumpster, food scraps were not properly bagged in another, and the general stench was indeed gag-worthy.)

Skipper says he thinks it’s more likely that the standing water on Sansom Street, rather than his dumpsters, are causing the stench, so he’s invested in a power washer to clean the street. Was making an, ahem, stink the only way for DeNinno to get something done?