The Black Market Moto Saloon was shut down by city officials for hosting live music without a special use permit, and it looks like the old live music vs neighbors debate has been re-sparked once again, a la Bel Rio (without the embezzement and skipping town). In fact, it appears the Woolen Mills neighborhood association president has resigned after referring to the Saloon’s (and nearby Lunchbox, also an apparent noise creator) clientele there as “hipster douchebags.” Some think the Saloon owner got what he deserved, others think the City is squashing culture.
Seems they think they’ve been unfairly targeted: “Be sure to check-out the C-ville article on our music issue today. In the past six months there have been 13 noise complaints. 12 have been for the Lunchbox and one was “in the area”. Come sign that petition tonite! Especially if you live in the neighborhood.”
The Hook learned that Woolen Mills Neighborhood Association President Dunham, citing online “vitriol,” announced her resignation. “The hyperbole amps up and feeds on itself, and we have chaos,” she wrote in an email to neighbors. “It’s just careless and hurtful, and utterly unnecessary.”
One neighbor, however, reveals that Dunham has engaged in some online vitriol of her own, as postings on her Facebook page, in apparent reference to the Black Market Moto Saloon, refer to an “infestation of vermin” and “hipster douchebags” in the neighborhood.
“We did not have any music,” Frankovich said regarding the evening the Saloon was shut down. “We had a nice dinner crowd. Meanwhile, across the street at the Lunchbox, they’re having an outdoor hip hop show.” Under the impression that both restaurants had received warnings at the same time, Frankovich said he wondered if the city was acting on “some sort of personal vendetta.”
Jim Tolbert, the city’s director of neighborhood development services, accompanied by two police officers and three fire officials, shut Frankovich down late last week after learning that the Moto Saloon was hosting unauthorized music.
Tolbert said the saloon opened “under the pretense of being a restaurant,” and its certificate of occupancy specifically states that there can be no amplified music.
“They just chose to ignore it and moved on,” Tolbert said, adding that the saloon got an emailed warning on June 22.
Police were called to a concert at the saloon last Thursday night, Tolbert said, which alerted officials to the code violation.
City officials notified the saloon Friday via posted notice that its certificate of occupancy had been revoked, and the fire department noticed the saloon was still open on Saturday, Tolbert said.
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