The Town of Mashpee will at least hear out Naukabout, as the local brewery looks to host amplified musicians in its outdoor patio area.
The co-owner of the Lake Avenue brewery, Peter Murner, asked that the Mashpee Board of Selectmen consider the idea on Monday, June 10, a year after the same board denied such a request, allowing only amplified music indoors.
Mr. Murner said the brewery has tried having non-amplified musicians outside, as is allowed with his current license, but the music is too soft for patrons to hear unless they are right next to the band.
For now, the brewery has amplified music inside, but on a nice sunny day, Mr. Murner said, he would like to be able to have musicians play outside.
“We’re not envisioning anything late at night, or anything that would upset our neighbors,” Mr. Murner said.
Outdoor amplified music has been a tough request in Mashpee within the last few years. Two summers ago, Dino’s Sports Bar tried to have bands play on its outdoor patio during weekend afternoons, and before that, the Lanes Bowl & Bistro tried to have outdoor music. Both ended with the restaurants no longer providing outdoor entertainment because residents in the vicinity of the restaurants complained to the town.
“We haven’t had a single license problem since then,” said the chairman of the selectmen, Andrew R. Gottlieb. “My concern is, the only license hearing problems we have had at least during my tenure on the board have been from outside amplification.”
Reopening the door for one venue would ultimately lead to more venues asking, and he said that he did not want the town manager and assistant town manager “running around” with a decibel reader trying to find the right decibel levels. Mr. Gottlieb made reference to a contentious number of hearings with Dino’s.
During the summer of 2017, the owner of Dino’s had installed a number of noise mitigation devices in an order to reduce the decibel levels at his neighbors’ homes. In an effort to keep the neighbors happy and to allow Dino’s to have outdoor music, the town tracked decibel readings. While the outdoor music lasted for some time over the summer, the complaints kept coming to the town, and the selectmen eventually shut it down.
Mr. Gottlieb said that if the board opened up outdoor amplification to Naukabout, other venues would make the same request. He said that, considering the amount of resources used in enforcing the noise issue at Dino’s, he did not want to be wasting more and more town resources.
He also noted that sound travels well over water, which could be another problem. Naukabout sits on the southern end of Mashpee-Wakeby Pond.
Selectman Thomas F. O’Hara agreed with Mr. Gottlieb that he did not want to get into decibel readings, but he said that with speakers placed in the right direction and other parameters, it could be doable.
“I would love to be able to give you a shot,” Mr. O’Hara said to Mr. Murner. “But the ball will be in your court, and it would be up to you to lose that permit.”
Mr. Murner said that he would be open to certain parameters agreed on with the town, such as not having music after the sun goes down.
The board decided to keep the discussion going at a later date and asked that the brewery owner submit a formal request for a license change. So far, Mr. Murner has only shown an intent and a desire to work with the town.
The board will likely take up the issue on June 17 when a formal request is submitted.