Louder, longer music at HopMonk?

Tonight, March 10, a request by the HopMonk Tavern to allow more amplified music and later performance hours will be heard by the Planning Commission. The 6:30 p.m. meeting will be broadcast live on SunTV 27 and sonomasuntv.com.

Dean Biersch, owner of the 691 Broadway venue, wants to offer amplified music until 10 p.m. and extend hours of the beer garden. But what’s good for business sounds to neighbors like a lot of noise.

“We recognize we are in a mixed commercial residential neighborhood and have carefully considered the proximity of our neighbors with this proposal,” Biersch said in his application. “We anticipate producing free music for beer garden guests during weekend days and evenings as weather permits.

The property was preceded by Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack, which battled with neighbors over the noise issue. After heated public meetings, the business eventually was granted permission to present a limited schedule of live acoustic music.

Bierch’s proposal would not cap the number of performances. Amplified music, the volume of which would still be subject to the city’s noise ordinance, would go until 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday. Thursday through Saturday nights, the cut off would be midnight.

Extending service hours in the outdoor beer garden, and erecting taller fences around the area, are also part of the proposal.

The property is flanked by a residential neighborhood. Residents who came out in force against loud music at Emmy’s are again mobilizing.

Opponent Beth Harper said the proposed changes violate the city’s general plan promise that “residents enjoy peace, quiet and security.” For another neighbor, it comes down to “

“The controversies generated over permits for music at Emmy’s and events at the Dance School taught us that one person’s music is another person’s noise,” said neighbor Kassandra Miller. “Those of us who are permanent residents should not be subjected to noise that intrudes on our space and prevents us from enjoying our homes and yards.”

Bierch said that the tavern has hosted some 25 performances since opening six months ago. “We have had zero complaints from the neighborhood about sound or anything else. We think this is notable; not a single complaint about parking noise, garbage,or general disturbance.”

“We believe that we can and will continue to demonstrate responsible handling of our operation,” he said.

City staff will recommend to the commission that a compromise plan, including setting a cap on the number of music shows, be adopted for a six-month trial period.

The Planning Commission meeting will be held in the Community Meeting Room, 177 Fist St. W.


2 Responses to Louder, longer music at HopMonk?

  1. Celeste Winders says:

    Look, if you want to live in total silence move to Schellville or Glen Ellen. You live in a city and you chose to. You moved to a mixed use zoning area and that means sometimes there is noise and dare I say it?? Fun. I chose to live in the Springs and I have to listen to amplified mariachi bands until midnight almost every night in the summer and guess what? I never complain because I CHOSE to live here. Here is something else that is crazy: I actually like it. It has become part of the landscape of my community: mariachi parties, dinging of the ice cream man bell and roosters crowing at 6am. If I didn’t like it and it drove me nuts I would move. I wouldn’t expect the entire community to never have mariachi music, ice cream men or roosters because I wanted to live in a silent bubble.
    Go Hopmonk! I hope you get your permit.

  2. Ralph Hutchinson says:

    Hopmonk is a new business. Deuce was quiet and reserved. Some of the people surely have been there longer than the Hopmonk right? When the spaghetti restaurant opened the papers were writing about noise concerns and when the beer garden with bands came in neighbors also complained. The owner knows they moved into a densely populated mixed use area and the neighbors made it abundantly clear they had concerns. The City permit committee knows that as do all.

    The Springs is an unincorporated district and the City has different parameters and codes.