Not everyone likes the smell of fresh doughnuts, it turns out. Zeke’s DC Donutz has closed—temporarily—in order to address complaints from its landlord and neighbors about the fried dough fumes.
Owner Aaron Gordon explains that the Dupont Circle space does not allow for a normal hood above its fryers, which would bring the heat, odor, and grease particles from the kitchen up to the top of the building. Instead the doughnut shop has a ventless hood, which gets rid of grease particles and helps prevent fires, but does very little for the heat and odor.
Gordon says he’s been trying to address the problem since the restaurant opened, adding two new vents, but it wasn’t enough. Right now, the restaurant is closed while his engineers and contractors try to come up with a potential solution. There is a possibility, Gordon says, that Zeke’s might leave the location. He says he’s hesitant to do anything that’s expensive but may not fix the problem.
“We’re going to keep trying, and I’m hopeful that we can open,” Gordon says. “But it’s possible that we cannot do it, in which case we will most likely try to find a new location.”
Dupont ANC Commissioner Kevin O’Connor tweeted last night that the restaurant was closed, but as of now, Gordon says his restaurant still has a lease and has not gone out of business.
Photo by Will Sommer