Grease Trap Plans Force Tennessee Restaurants To Close
Changes are coming to downtown Knoxville next year as two longtime Market Square restaurants plan to close their doors for good.
Shonos in the City said Friday it will close in January for a number of reasons, one of which is new requirements for grease collection.
"(KUB) said I needed to have plan of action by September 9th to have my grease trap larger," said Willy Rosenberg, who owns Shonos. The closures may have been a decade in the making.
In 2004, as part of EPA standards, the Knoxville Utilities Board began discussions with every restaurant in the service district to improve grease collection. Part of the plan requires restaurants to use a grease interceptor, a tank that separates grease from waste water. The waste water flows into the sewage system, while the grease left behind would flow into a collection area for future use.
Rosenberg estimated it would cost him $20,000 to install the the interceptor in order to meet those specifications.
KUB said it understands businesses downtown are at a disadvantage to restaurants in other parts of town due in part to a lack of space and infrastructure.
"This is across KUB's service territory for waste water system," said KUB spokesperson Andrea May. "What's interesting in downtown and Market Square is, these are historic, smaller buildings where space is limited."
May said KUB is working with every restaurant, each of which has individual deadlines to comply with the new rules.Latitude 35, another restaurant located in Market Square, told 10News Friday it will close Sunday, December 21. Jimmy Buckner, who owns Latitude 35, said he plans to rebrand the restaurant and bar, in part because of the new, expensive interceptors.
"Once that timeline is in place, they're responsible to make that timeline. We're considerate to physical limitations or financial," May added.
For Rosenberg and Shonos, that is not enough to keep the doors open. They plan to close in a few weeks.
"We came up with a plan, and I talked with the family last night, and decided it's not worth it."
Commercial kitchen operators looking for a less expensive solution to prevent food solids from clogging their grease trap and being flushed into the sewer system should consider installing The Drain Strainer.
Invented by a former restaurant owner, The Drain Strainer is our standard food solid separator that your commercial sink drains flow into to protect your drains and grease trap from clogging.
The flanged feet on the bottom can be bolted to the floor for added stability. To replace a commercial garbage disposal, the three adjustable legs can be raised up to install the crown adapter snugly against the bottom of the sink bowl.