But noise from a building on their block is stopping that from happening, attendees at a packed 94th Precinct Community Council meeting said last week.
Richard DeVito, who lives with his tenants in a building across the street from the Production Lounge, a bar at 113 Franklin Street, sparked a conversation at the meeting about where the noise is coming from, and what can be done about it.
Another attendee at the meeting, who works at the Production Lounge, said the noise often comes from the rehearsal spaces it houses.
DeVito said the bar played hip-hop on the previous Friday night, “that was just absolutely off the Richter,” and then played heavy metal on Saturday that was almost as loud.
“I mean, sound that was so loud that I couldn’t get to sleep,” until nearly 4 a.m., DeVito said.
He said his tenants often complain about the noise, and that he knew many of the large crowd at the council meeting were there for the same reason.
“They’re paying taxes, as well as all the homeowners,” DeVito said of his neighbors. “I also have children in my house that should not have to be subjected to this.”
DeVito said he’s made 11 complaints to the precinct in the last few weeks, but the noise persists.
“We rely on the Police Department to enforce the [noise] ordinances,” he said. “If they don’t do anything, we are helpless. We can’t take the law into our own hands.”
Another Franklin Street resident at the meeting, Tara Donne, said the problem is a lack of soundproofing.
“When the door [to the bar] is closed I can hear it,” she said. “When the door is open, it’s like 10 times that loud.”
Joe, a co-owner of the Production Lounge who requested that the paper not use his last name, said in a phone interview Tuesday morning that the noise comes from the whole building, which takes up most of the block, and another bar on the corner.
“I'm only one small tenant in that big building,” he said. Plus, “we're not a club, we're a lounge.”
Joe said it's up to the landlord to install better soundproofing. He added that his bar is not known to police in the area for violence and fighting, and that small businesses like his rejuvenate the area, allowing landlords to charge more for rent.
“Obviously it's going to come with a little more noise,” Joe said.
He also questioned why there were no complaints until recently.
“There hasn't been one problem in two years,” Joe said.
Joe said his bar's Polish nights and classic rock shows don't violate local noise ordinances.
“You're not breaking the law because he can hear the music,” he said.
Kip Potharas, who runs a comedy club out of the Production Lounge on Tuesdays, also said the noise comes from rehearsal spaces located in the same building, and to accuse the bar of being the sole culprit is slanderous to its owner.
In addition, he said bars usually make noise on Fridays and Saturdays.
“Those seem like good party nights,” Potharas said. But he agreed that the building is not adequately soundproofed.
DeVito said he spoke with the owner of the building and worked out noise issues with the rehearsal spaces. He’s having trouble working the problem out with the Production Lounge, he said.
In response to the complaints, 94th Precinct Deputy Inspector Terence Hurson said he knew of the ones recently called in, but there weren’t any for a year before them.
“I’ve seen your complaints on 311 for the last two weeks coming from that place,” Hurson said. “Before that I didn’t see anything, I have to admit it was off my radar.”
He said his officers on the midnight shift spend a lot of time taming unruly clubs.
“You know, one of the worst offending places in the entire precinct is the place that’s on the corner of the precinct,” Hurson said. “We’ve taken shootings there, we’ve taken numerous crimes there.”
But, “we’ve brought a ton of enforcement against them,” Hurson said.
Out of more than 100 bars in the 94th Precinct’s jurisdiction, Hurson said six to 10 are on their watch list.
“This is now on our list,” Hurson said of the Production Lounge.
The super in the building at 113 Franklin said over the phone that the landlord is trying to work the noise problem out with the owner of the Production Lounge, but wouldn’t specify how.