Bosses of a George Town restaurant complained that noise from a neighboring bar is ruining the romantic atmosphere and putting off customers, one of three complaints the Liquor Licensing Board heard at its annual general meeting.
The board said it would take time to consider all the complaints it heard last Thursday before making a decision shortly.
Representatives from Casanova by the Sea said they receive repeated complaints from customers about the thumping bass and volume of the music coming from Cayman Cabana, as early as 6 p.m., peak time for the restaurant.
Mairi Ann Padmore, manager of Casanova, accused Luigi Moxam, owner of Cayman Cabana, of violating his dance and music license, which stipulates that music can be played from 10 p.m. onward.
“I understand that the liquor license law has Mr. Moxam’s guidelines that he can play loud music after 10 p.m. That is not something that has been honored, and it is something that has cost us our business,” said Ms. Padmore.
“Casanova is a romantic seaside restaurant… When we lose our customers from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the evening, people trying to have a nice quiet romantic dinner by the waterside, and they can’t because the music is booming from our neighbors.”
Mr. Moxam brought an application to the board requesting the right to play live music as part of his dance and music license, and from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on week nights and until 2:30 a.m. from Friday nights.
“I’m just asking for consideration for us to have the same opportunity as they do…It will make a difference in the struggles we have right now in staying open in the nights in the week,” said Mr. Moxam.
“Singing happy birthday loud 12 times in a row is still a disturbance and an inconvenience for us. I am respectful enough to appreciate what they are trying to do for their business, and I am asking that we don’t have any restrictions and for that respect to be mutual. Live does not mean loud…,” said Mr. Moxam.
Chief Inspector Angelique Howell said four calls had been made to the George Town police station from June to August complaining about loud music emanating from Cayman Cabana.
“We receive lots of loud music complaints in that area. We have seven other liquor license premises that we monitor on George Town as part of our patrol strategy on a regular basis,” said Ms. Howell.
Cayman Cabana, along with Kings Sports Centre and Royal Palms, faced complaints over alleged noise disturbance in violation of their liquor, music and dance licenses during the annual meeting.
Amy and Christopher Bodden, residents of Forest Lane Road next to Kings Sport Centre, complained that they have been hearing loud music most weekends for the past two years since they first bought their property.
“We shouldn’t be able to hear ‘boom boom boom’ on Sunday afternoons,” said Mrs. Bodden.
“We’ve been dealing with excessive noise coming from Kings for two years now. There’s the regular Saturday night … and then there is the Sunday afternoon issue,” said Mrs. Bodden.
The couple have a young son, and Mrs. Bodden said the nose is starting to affect their child’s health.
“My son is having physical reactions to the bass music coming through now. I now get anxiety on Saturday afternoons for the music that has to come. My husband is getting headaches. We are resorting to hotels to get peace and quiet,” said Mrs. Bodden.
From June to August, the George Town Police Station has received two calls with complaints about the local gym, according to Ms. Howell.
“At any times calls were made in complaint, Kings has turned the music down to the best of our ability,” said a statement read on behalf of Kings Sports Centre. “We cannot gauge this because we are not in her [Mrs. Bodden’s] unit. The music is at a very low pitch, and very family orientated on Sundays.”
“As long as I am complying with the law I have the rights to run my business accordingly,” said owner of Kings Sports Centre, Rex Ebanks.
Mrs. Bodden said, “I would just really like some peace for my family. We’ve had the property for two years and we’ve not been able to enjoy it, and it is really stressing and upsetting.”
Peter Gilmore, who represented the chairman of the board of Cayman Reef Resort, requested that the Liquor Licensing Board make a condition on Royal Palm’s music and dance license stipulating that the bar adhere to a certain sound decibel.
There is no area in the current law that outlines a suitable decibel range for dance and music licenses.
“Noise levels at Royal palms have dropped considerably and is quite acceptable [in the last three months]… We think that is excellent, and we would like it to remain that way. We were wondering if it could be maintained at 60 decibels,” said Mr. Gilmore.
Owners from six condominiums along Seven Mile Beach met with the Liquor Licensing Board earlier this year in an attempt to enforce tougher laws on noise control, particularly at Royal Palms.
“It’s the thump, thump, thump that goes on that makes sleeping so badly… People find it difficult to sleep at 35 decibels…” one person said.
In an attempt to control the noise, Royal Palms recently hired a sound specialist to monitor noise levels, cut their live music despite complaints from customers, and spent at least $80,000 on sound control measures at the beach bar and restaurant.
Emily Loyd, events organizer at Royal Palms, said she worried that the conditions on the license would negatively affect the business.
“I’m worried we will never be able to have a concert or special events again…We hosted for a few years the Cayman Cookout, but I didn’t sign up for it again because they have a band on the beach and I wouldn’t want to upset our neighbors…,” said Mrs. Loyd.
Keegan Galt, who was hired to monitor noise levels for Royal Palms, said, “I’ve changed the entire way we set up our music. Instead of using two bass speakers, we only use one, and on Saturdays we only use one top and one bass speaker. That means it is almost impossible to hear thumping in a bedroom.
“I’m just blown away with this, because I know I’ve been doing my job very well,” said Mr. Galt.
The chairman of the Liquor Licensing Board said he has noticed an improvement in noise levels.
“I’ve seen a lot of improvements myself,” said Mitchell Welds. “I’ve been there on a couple of occasions on a regular basis, and I could not even hear the music in the parking lot… That was on a Wednesday night …
“I would also like to commend the Royal Palms on actually having someone employed to specifically monitor the sound. A lot of the other premises don’t have a specialist on property, and the DJs get hyped up from time to time,” he added.