By Andrea Swayne
Damien Collins, owner of StillWater Spirits & Sounds began circulating a letter via social media this week asking for community support after receiving orders from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to cease having live music until further notice.
Efforts to contact the ABC by press time were unsuccessful.
Calls to Collins were not returned.
In his letter Collins alleges a group of Lantern Bay Estates residents have organized in an effort to do away with all music in the Town Center-Lantern District and his business is but one target.
“We have not violated any city noise ordinances,” Collins wrote, adding that the building his restaurant is in has hosted live music continuously since the late 1950s. The building was most recently home to Renaissance before being purchased by Collins in 2012.
Collins likened the complaints to “people who buy houses next to an airport and then complain about plane noise” but also said he had taken steps during the building’s renovation to circumvent noise, such as the removal of the outdoor stage.
While City Manager Doug Chotkevys said he hasn’t had an opportunity to review the ABC’s order, he has some concerns regarding local control with the ABC.
Chotkevys said that along with previous actions taken in the Lantern District by the ABC, their halting of live music at StillWater shows a tendency for the body to disregard the city’s local noise ordinances and CUPs.
In 2005 the city granted a conditional use permit to wine bar/restaurant, Purple Feet (a building also on Del Prado and currently the location of Luxe Restaurant & Martini Bar) to extend the hours of alcohol service from 10:30 p.m. every night to 11 p.m. from Sunday to Wednesday and midnight from Thursday to Saturday. The ABC disregarded the city permit and ordered alcohol service be limited to 10:30 p.m.
“We have no confirmed violations of the noise ordinance at that location since I’ve been here,” Chotkevys said.
Chotkevys said he intends to comply with a request by the City Council to begin a dialogue with the ABC and locally elected officials in Sacramento (Bill Brough and Pat Bates) to look for a resolution.
“The business operators and residents have to come together with the city to find a mutually agreeable place where everybody can coexist,” he said. “They do it in plenty of other cities and I’m sure we can do it here too.”