Right now, Raynold Mendizabal, owner of Rogue States, is on his way to shutter his Dupont Circle burger joint. Earlier this afternoon, DC Superior Court judge John Mott ruled that the fumes from the burger grills were a nuisance to the nearby law firm Steptoe & Johnson, which sued Mendizabal with the charge that its employees were suffering from grease odors.
Mendizabal has tried to fix the problem over the last few months, but nothing has worked to the law firm's satisfaction. It appears that the building's landlord, TRT, also plays a role in Mendizabal's woes: "The judge said that venting to the roof would be a way of abatement," he said, but TRT isn't open to that idea.
Over the course of the trial, Steptoe's lawyer, Deborah Baum, got Mendizabal to say that he had signed a lease for another property at 14th and U streets, Northwest. So does Rogue States have a chance of living on in another location?
"I don't know what the future of the company is going to be," Mendizabal said. "We were counting on money from [the current Rogue States]. The rug has been pulled out from under my feet."