The Edgartown Board of Selectmen approved the renewal of entertainment licenses for the Atlantic Restaurant Monday afternoon, despite complaints from the general manager of a neighboring hotel that conditions imposed on the entertainment licenses are not being adequately enforced.
The entertainment licenses allows the popular Edgartown restaurant to stage live music from noon to 12:30 a.m., provided that all of the restaurant’s windows are closed during performances and that minimum amplification is used. No outside performances are allowed.
Similar licenses have long been issued to the Atlantic Restaurant and its predecessor in that space, the Navigator.
In a letter dated March 21 addressed to Edgartown Town Administrator Pam Dolby, Harborside Inn general manager Joseph Badot expressed concerns with the renewal of the Atlantic’s entertainment licenses.
“On numerous occasions since the original license was granted, we have had to call the Edgartown Police to complain about the noise from bands and DJs,” Badot wrote.
On Monday he attended the selectmen’s meetings to elaborate on his concerns.
“The . . . conditions that are on the license are fine with us,” said Badot. “The thing is, they don’t seem to be enforced.”
Sgt. Craig Edwards of the Edgartown Police Department told the selectmen that officers had responded to four 911 calls regarding noise complaints at the restaurant in the past year. Other times, officers have reportedly been personally fetched to address the noise complaints.
“Each time the management was very cooperative,” said Sgt. Edwards. “They took the necessary means to close the windows and the doors and turn down the amplified system. We found a lot of times that the window behind the band gets opened up by the people playing there, oftentimes unbeknownst to the management.”
Attorney Sean Murphy, who represented the Atlantic Restaurant in front of the selectmen, said the matter could be boiled down to competing interests between a restaurant that is seeking to provide entertainment and an adjacent hotel that values peace and quiet.
“It’s not always the Atlantic; sometimes it’s the Wharf, sometimes it’s the street noise, sometimes its people just yelling,” said Murphy. “You’ve just got competing interests . . . . They’ll continue to work with the police department and with their neighbors the best they can.”
“It’s a difficult situation,” said Badot, “We realize they have to make money; I hope they realize we have to make money. It’s a very short season.”
Selectmen Margaret Serpa and Arthur Smadbeck agreed to renew the licenses, since Badot only took issue with the enforcement, rather than the issuance, of the licenses. Selectmen Michael Donaroma did not attend the meeting.
Smadbeck suggested that the respective owners trade cell-phone numbers, so that they could communicate any issues immediately to one another, without having to call 911.