Grease swath: Spill makes sidewalk slippery

Six months ago, Mono Loco changed hands and unveiled a slick new menu. But more recently, the Water Street eatery dealt with something even slicker: grease seeping from a receptacle in the alley behind the orange-pink stucco building.

Michael Keaveny, director of operations for Coran Capshaw's five-restaurant group, believes rainwater may have filled the tank, which is maintained by an oil removal company called Valley Proteins, causing the greasy overflow.

"It's not uncommon," he says. "It's something most restaurants have to deal with."

The clean-up from such a spill is not the city's responsibility, says Judith Mueller, director of Public Works for the city, but if such a spill occurs on public property, a report is filed with her department; something she says is "pretty rare." Spills on private property are reported to the department of neighborhood development.

The Mono Loco spill oozed from the receptacle, formed a glistening pool in an alley pothole between Mono Loco and Cassis, and eventually crossed the Water Street sidewalk, where pedestrians tracked through the greasy swath for several days until the Mono Loco crew cleaned it up with kitty litter and degreaser on Friday, August 26.

Unlike the folks at Valley Protein, Mono Loco "had a guy out there the evening we found out about it," says Keaveny. "We cleaned as much as we could ourselves and then had a power cleaner come to make sure there was nothing on the sidewalk."

The spill caused neither complaints nor injuries, says Keaveny.

 Apparently, there's no sense crying over spilled grease.

A view to the spill