Council to consider outdoor music for club

When the Cesare Battisti in Eldorado brought a petition to City Council in April with 36 signatures representing all households within a little less than two blocks, it seemed the neighborhood was OK with the club’s proposal for outdoor music.

Only one household signed in opposition, according to Mike Provenzano, vice president of the Beale Avenue club.

But with City Council set to vote today on a resolution that could lead to a permit for the music, at least two additional households have signed up against the idea.

Jack Quatrara, who lives next to the club parking lot, is one of the opponents.

“This used to be a pretty quiet neighborhood,” Quatrara said. “But it’s gotten to the point that it’s push, push, push.”

The club actually began with live outdoor music last year in its pavilion, built on a former bocce court in the parking lot, near 40th Street.

A band played one night a week, drawing up to 100 people, according to Provenzano.

“It helped business,” he said. “People enjoyed it.”

But someone complained, and the club shut it down.

Now the club is trying to do it legally.

To make it happen, City Council must agree to take over noise enforcement from the state Liquor Control Board, whose regulations prohibit music from an establishment to be heard outside.

Following that, the LCB would need to hold a neighborhood hearing at which residents could object.

If the LCB agrees to hand over responsibility, the city police and codes would enforce the city’s noise ordinance, which allows 62 decibels – as loud as a normal conversation – at the boundary of the club property.

If that happens, the club would add “drop-down” curtains to dampen the noise and would meter the volume “so we keep it within the city’s parameters,” Provenzano said.

The club would also not allow the shows to run past 10 p.m., he said.

He predicted they would occur between Wednesdays and Saturdays, but not generally four days in a row – and only during nice weather.

Quatrara isn’t confident the city would adequately enforce its own noise ordinance.

He predicted police would be too busy and that the department might not be willing.

He also doesn’t trust the club to hold shows in moderation.

Joann Lascoli, who lives half a block from the club, had a bad experience last year.

“We do puzzles out there in the summer on my patio,” said Lascoli, whose son and late husband are former club presidents. “The music was so loud we could feel the vibration.”

Quatrara said he may attend this evening’s meeting.

Lascoli said she’d like to go with him and suggested that another neighbor who has registered her opposition should also go along.

“We’re all elderly around here,” Quatrara said.

He wouldn’t mind one or two charity events every year, or even an acoustic guitar, he said.

But a general permit “would open up a can of worms,” he said.

The city previously took responsibility from the Liquor Board for enforcement for all downtown – to forestall complaints about outdoor concerts and encourage establishments to offer outdoor music – and for Zach’s Sports and Spirits in Eldorado.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038