St. Clair ShoresJune 29, 2012
Another year given for outdoor entertainment at Brownie’s
By Kristyne E. Demske
C & G Staff Writer
A year later, a Nautical Mile favorite is still working to get along with its neighbors.
City Council reviewed the one-year trial permit for the outdoor entertainment at Brownie’s on the Lake at its June 18 meeting, voting to extend the permit one more year with extended hours.
At issue is how loud the music is when it reaches the Great Lakes Yacht Club, which had a few members step up to speak before council.
“That noise carries,” said John Frank, of New Baltimore, a member of the Great Lakes Yacht Club. “We had a good year last year, but our concern is moving forward.”
Attorney Frank Palazzolo said the restaurant owners were somewhat surprised to hear that boaters at the Great Lakes Yacht Club were complaining.
“We will work toward whatever you want us to do,” Palazzolo said.
He said Brownie’s on the Lake is about 1,000 feet away from the complex, while the Beach Grill is about 500 feet away.
“We’re not sure whose sound is going where,” he said. “We’re taking this very seriously.”
Brownie’s co-owner John Vicari said he had actually been surprised that he hadn’t heard much from the commodore of the Great Lakes Yacht Club, Merryl Schwartz.
“This is really the first time I’ve heard of anything,” he said.
He said managers have turned the music down as soon as they are asked by police and assured those concerned that, “We will definitely take care of it,” while reminding them how finite the time is for them to make money with good weather.
“I appreciate your situation, but we’ve got to keep it quiet for residents, too,” said Councilman Chris Vitale. He said he was in favor of granting another year’s extension because there may have been residents who didn’t realize that the city is keeping track of how many complaints it receives for the business.
“You can buy a decibel meter at Radio Shack,” he said. “That should be where the volume stops and not when they call the police.”
But Councilman John Caron said on a recent visit to the restaurant, he didn’t notice the sound of music “until I got up next to the restaurant.”
City Manager Ben Hughes said there were about six calls to police during the 12-month time period, and police could not substantiate the claims of a few calls.
On June 6, 2011, City Council approved a one-year trial permit for outdoor entertainment from noon to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.
The times on the one-year permit were extended June 18, with a motion by
Councilman Ron Frederick and supported by Councilman Peter Rubino allowing outdoor music and entertainment from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, from 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, and from noon to 11 p.m. Sunday. That motion passed 5-1, with Vitale opposed and Councilwoman Candice Rusie absent.
Frank said they don’t want the business to fail, of course, and supported another year’s extension of the trial.
“Make sure he commits to what the council had asked him to agree to and what we all came to terms with,” Frank said.
City officials said the Beach Grill has most of their music inside and has only 12
special events per year where music is played outside.
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