Despite some trouble with outdoor music in the past, the board of selectmen Monday, June 17, decided to take a chance on amplified outdoor music in two establishments in town.
Acting on requests from management at both Naukabout Brewery and Tap Room on Lake Avenue and Bobby Byrne’s Restaurant and Pub in Mashpee Commons, the board voted to approve amendments to the two entertainment licenses that will ultimately allow them to play amplified music outdoors, albeit on a limited basis.
The board allowed the brewery to play music from noon to 8 PM in the summer months and noon to 6 PM in the winter months, and allowed both instruments and microphones for singers to be amplified. The town will check in with the popular brewery after 30 days of a trial run.
For Bobby Byrne’s, the board agreed to amplified outdoor music from 7 to 10 PM, although management said that only a singer would be amplified while musicians would play non-amplified, acoustic instruments.
Selectmen are no strangers to outdoor music in Mashpee. Outdoor music at the Lanes Bowl & Bistro in the Commons was shut down after residents in the Windchimes development across the rotary complained about the noise. Most recently, the board shut down outdoor, amplified music at Dino’s Sports Bar after multiple neighbors complained of noise. Selectmen had attempted to work with the restaurant, even using a decibel reader and listening to bands from neighbors’ back yards. The restaurant had built mitigation tools like walls and special speakers, but ultimately residents still complained and the board shut it down.
On Monday, Naukabout co-owner Peter Murner said he had met with the town manager and they both came up with some “straightforward solutions.” Mr. Murner had been before the board at its last meeting announcing his intentions. At the meeting, selectmen voiced concerns about the location of brewery, noting that sound could carry easily over Mashpee-Wakeby Pond as sound carries well over water.
But Mr. Murner said that he and Town Manager Rodney C. Collins agreed on limited hours in order to keep music during the daylight and as to not upset his neighbors. The outdoor music would only be two to three days a week during the summer and more like once a week in the off-season.
Also, they agreed to revisit the issue in 30 days to see if any complaints had come forward and if the brewery had addressed them.
The board did have concerns. Selectman Thomas F. O’Hara said he was willing to work with the brewery but he cautioned Mr. Murner to deal with any complaints from neighbors before the matter came before the town.
“It’s a tough lot,” Mr. O’Hara said. “I’m willing to work with you, but it’s yours to lose.”
Selectmen were not the only ones with concerns. Barbara B. Nichols, who lives on the water not far from the brewery, told the board that its mission statement was to “choose to live in harmony with one another and with nature;” live music during the sunset was not her idea of living in harmony with nature. She said that she could already hear noises coming from Attaquin Park, a beach right outside the brewery. She urged the board to not allow the change.
Jennifer McDonald attended the selectmen’s meeting to support the brewery’s efforts. She said she has been there many times and would like to see them given a chance. She noted that some restaurants in town, like the Lure in New Seabury, have live bands playing outdoors with multiple instruments plugged in.
Selectmen chairman Andrew R. Gottlieb, who cast the lone nay vote against Naukabout’s request, asked if Mr. Murner would be open to having only microphones for singers amplified and keeping instruments acoustic only. He suggested that the brewery crawl before it walks.
Mr. Murner said he would be open to idea if that was all the board would agree to, but he would prefer to have musicians given the option. He said that it would not meet the brewery’s goals to bring different types of music and national artists to Mashpee.
Mr. Collins said that any kinks could be worked out during the 30-day trial run. Any complaints from the public, he said, would be deferred to his office and he would then bring complaints to the board of selectmen.
The board then voted 3-1, Mr. Gottlieb casting the lone nay vote. Mr. Murner thanked the board and said he would not let them down.
The board approved the Bobby Byrne’s request earlier in the night. No one from the public spoke out or against the proposal.
Jeffrey Moore of the Commons’ pub said that the music would run from 7 to 10 PM at an outside patio. They had received approval from Mashpee Commons’ representatives, and had thought of the idea as the Commons has started more outdoor entertainment. Mr. Moore said that they envision one singer amplified with acoustic guitars.
Mr. O’Hara said he thought that the enclosed area was a great location for outdoor music; Selectman John J. Cotton suggested that the restaurant address any concerns brought up by neighbors before the town receives any complaints. Mr. Gottlieb said he was torn over the issue, considering the board has shut down other outdoor music, but he said it ultimately came down to the location. He said that Bobby Byrne’s would be on a short leash.
The board voted unanimously, 4-0, to allow the outdoor music.