CORNER BROOK Dave McHugh values his neighbours just as much as his customers.
That’s why McHugh, owner of McHugh’s Bar on Broadway, is coughing up about $8,000 to address noise complaints from residents in the area.
“I’ve got to keep my customers comfortable,” he said, “and take care of the neighbours.”
Local residents brought their noise complaints to Corner Brook City Council on Monday night.
To combat the problem, McHugh is taking proactive steps to nip the complaints.
The pub has a garage-style door that opens on the side, allowing customers to flow easily from the patio to the entertainment playing inside. The open door also acts as a ventilation system on hot summer nights.
Almost every day this summer the door has been opened, which has been mentioned as one of the sources of the noise on the street.
McHugh is taking out the garage door and putting in a fixed door that is able to be closed. He is installing an air exchanger and conditioner also, to allow for more ventilation.
With all the extra electrical work, he has to update the electrical panel as well.
“It’s like a domino effect, like a snowball,” he said. “It’s part of rolling with the punches when you’re in business.”
McHugh said a few customers have approached him to keep the garage door, but he hopes the doors will keep the open concept.
“It’s a conflict when you have a commercial zone with residents nearby,” he said.
This is the second summer McHugh has had the garage door opened, and the same bands are playing at the bar, but he has only started getting noise complaints in the past few weeks.
Margaret Hicks of Concord Avenue is one of the outspoken residents who wants to mute Broadway’s bars because she said she does not get a full night’s sleep Wednesdays to Saturdays.
Hicks has lived in he same house for 42 years and said the noise only started affecting her since June. She said the constant, warm summer weather is probably to blame for noisy activity piping out from open bar doors.
Regardless, she wants something to be done about the area, as she voiced her concerns Corner Brook City Council’s public meeting Monday night.
Paul Barnable, director of community services with the city, said each bar owner on Broadway was recently provided with the noise regulations.
“Now we hope the bar owners will comply, and we’ll see what happens from there,” he said at the council meeting.
Also at Monday night’s meeting, council approved an application to allow Sorrento Restaurant on Park Street to build a patio.
Coun. Leo Bruce brought up concerns that a similar situation to Broadway could arise because there are apartments being built nearby Park Street.
Mayor Neville Greeley said to pass the application certain requirements had to be followed, including: abiding by the noise bylaw, operating in compliance to the liquor licensing board and the deck must be designed by a professional engineering firm and include a privacy fence.