Boutique: Smell Of Barbecue Next Door So Bad, We Have To Close

LA GRANGE, Ill. (CBS) — Barbecue may make your mouth water, but the owners of a LaGrange boutique say it’s raising such a stink that it’s prompting them to shut down.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports, Michael LaPidus, owner of Q BBQ at 70 S. LaGrange Rd., says he’s trying to be a good neighbor.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports

“It doesn’t do me any good to fight with my neighbors. It does me good and my business good to get along with everyone,” LaPidus said.

But Honor Lorenzini, owner of Urban Sole Boutique next door at 72 S. LaGrange Rd., says the barbecue smell has permeated the clothes on its racks, costing them business and prompting returns.

“Let’s say you have 30 customers a day. I would say 20 of them commented on the smoke smell,” Lorenzini said.

Management at Urban Sole says the odor of barbecue smoke has permeated their clothes, shoes and shop so severely that they have decided to shut the store down.

“”Basically, everything just went downhill ever since we’ve had the problems with Q,” said Urban Sole manager Colleen Clark, “and, you know, when every customer that comes into the store says something, you can’t ignore it.”

LaPidus says he has raised smokestacks and put in a pricey exhaust system voluntarily. He adds that management at Urban Sole should not be blaming him for the fact that the store did not work out.

“Maybe your business plan didn’t work and you should look in the mirror — and I think that’s what’s going on right now,” he said. “They’re trying to blame other people for some of their shortfalls.”

Lorenzini closed a second store in Hinsdale several years ago, and now says she wishes she had kept that store open instead.

  • Afro

    CBS Reporters can’t do any better than this? This isn’t news.

  • S Clarke

    Is this LaPidus guy for real? Mocking their business plan and trying to deflect any blame from himself? Is he a child? I went to his bbq place once, bland and overpriced! He’ll be the next thing on LaGrange Rd to fail!

    • Ms. D

      Sorry..have to agree. Urban Sole always smelled like burnt bbq smoke after Roly Poly turned into Q. Urban Sole was a wonderful little shop with my favorite brands and unique boutique styles. You will be missed!!

    • NWA

      Your right, it not any good. you’d do better making your own.


  • justice...

    Bad Idea having a restaurant or BBQ place next to any clothing business….I am looking for a new dry cleaners for the same reason.

  • bone

    Clark- obviously you have never been to Q because the place is always slammed, probably the 2nd busiest food establishment on the block. It’s 695 for a sandwich and sides, seems pretty reasonable to me.

    • S Clarke

      Yes, I actually tried it twice. Beyond extremely bland and overpriced. I’m sorry that you haven’t had real bbq before, message me and I can send you some suggestions of places to try.

      • Lew

        S Clarke – Recommend anywhere awesome in Chicagoland? Would love to know?

  • Q fan

    Others here say Q is overpriced and bland, but I say, Urban Sole trumps that, with overpriced, bland clothing and shoes and a nasty staff to top it off. Shopped there once and vowed never to go back, and not because of the smell. We patronize Q all the time and love it. Glad to see Urban Sole leaving, and good riddance.

  • Reikichik

    The smell from the bbq is really strong. I parked at the hardware store a few doors away, at 10am, and as soon as I opened the car door the odor was so strong I had to rush into the store to get away from it. I love the smell of good bbq, but it shouldn’t overpower a whole block. The restaurant owner’s irresponsible and disrespectful comments convince me to spend my bbq money elsewhere.

    • Ms. D

      Kudos for your comment….Kerosene is not BBQ

  • othersoles

    strange, i am in that neighborhood alot and never noticed a real strong smell. i agree with q fan, that owner of urban sole is terrible person, maybe she would have gotten along better in a snootier town like hinsdale. oh well you live you learn. probably drove the q guy to say things he would not normally. too bad he had to get it broadcast all over the news.

  • juju

    fluff piece. who cares about suburban issues.

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